PC Legal Fees Heat Up City Hall

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PANAMA CITY A Panama City Commissioner says he'll continue pushing for lower attorney fees.

John Kady believes Nevin Zimmerman of Burke and Blue is charging the city too much.

City Attorney Nevin Zimmerman latest bill to Panama City exceeded $33,000, 3 times the norm.

Zimmerman says it's higher because the commission instructed him to handle all of the city's legal work himself, instead of delegating it to lower-priced attorneys.

City Attorney Nevin Zimmerman says, "I was hoping I was doing what Mr. Kady and the commission - but I thought it was a good idea, genuinely so I was disappointed 'cause I didn't know there were any issues."

To solve the problem, Zimmerman is proposing a $300,000 annual retainer, double what commissioner John Kady wants.

Kady compares the current fees to other local cities, sayING, "My recommendation is having looked at these numbers and i can give you the background data if you'd like on these is we offer $15,000 a month to Burke and Blue and if they don't accept it, we re-compete."

But other commissioners opposed that recommendation, saying they hadn't seen the information before Tuesday.

Panama City Mayor Greg Brudnicki explains, "It's hard for me to take a six month window and say, 'Here's everything that was done within that time frame, and i pay too damn much for it.'"

Commissioner Billy Radar agrees, "For goodness sakes, let's have an open line of communication."

Panama City Commissioner Kenneth Brown adds, "We can get along, and we can do this before we get it out that if he don't come down to our prices, that we dump him and go to the next one. Let's give him a chance."

Commissioners tabled the issue until their next meeting.

Commissioner Billy Radar was the only one who wanted to take a vote Tuesday.