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Cities play musical attorneys
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He may have lost his position as the city attorney for Hinesville, but Jeff Arnold has already found work with Liberty County's second-largest municipality.
The Walthourville City Council recently selected Arnold to replace former city attorney Linnie Darden, who left the Walthourville seat open when he took over Arnold's old position with the city of Hinesville in mid-January.
In choosing the new counsel, Mayor Daisy Pray made it clear she and councilmembers wanted a change from how city business has been handled in the past.
"I feel like (our new attorney) must know about the city of Walthourville and have the city of Walthourville at heart," she said. "When we need legal advice we need someone to be present, not us having to find them or them being out of town because there are some important issues we have to handle."
Councilwoman Luciria Lovette added, "Business as usual is not going to be acceptable."
Attorney Craig Stafford, a partner with Arnold in the Arnold, Stafford, Randolph and Schaefer law firm in Hinesville, told councilmembers at a recent called meeting that his firm was ready to assist the city with moving in a new direction.
And with water and sewer remaining a top issue for Walthourville, he added the legal team brings "a ton of experience" that could be useful as officials contemplate building the city's own treatment plant.
"Over the past three years that I've been with Jeff, we have been the ones responsible for spearheading Hinesville's wastewater treatment facility...we did a large part of the financial negotiations," Stafford said. "We ended up writing the ordinances and everything that went into setting up the wastewater treatment we've done it before."
Stafford also stressed that while Arnold will be the main lawyer involved in city affairs, the city would be getting five attorneys - Arnold and Stafford along with partner Tyler Randolph and associates Jeff Carlson and Drew Johnson - for the price of one.
"You don't get just get Jeff. You don't just get me and you don't just get Drew," he said. "You get all five of us."
Sitting in on his first council meeting Tuesday night, Arnold told Walthourville residents he "appreciates the opportunity to serve" the city.
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