GARLAND — After having several meetings without an attorney present, town commissioner filled the void Thursday night by picking Alan Maynard.
The decision to hire the Elizabethtown-based attorney was made following a closed session. His tenure was effective immediately after an unanimous vote among commissioners.
“We’re very pleased to have him on board to assist us with our legal needs,” Mayor Winifred Murphy.
Maynard grew up in Elizabethtown and graduated from East Bladed High School. He continued his education at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and earned degrees in political science and law. He has 35 years of experience and operates Maynard Law Firm as a solo practitioner.
“It will be my honor to serve the board and the citizens of Garland,” Maynard said.
Commissioners were also content with Maynard’s experience with local governments and towns such as Bladenboro and East Arcadia. He also represents the Bladen County Housing Authority and the Bladenboro Housing Authority. He’s looking forward to working with Garland commissioners and other town hall officials on matters effecting residents.
“There are very detailed general statutes dealing with municipalities and how they should conduct business,” he said. “The grants that they receive and contracts need to be looked at thoroughly by an attorney. I know that Garland has some issues with roads that are going to be researched thoroughly.”
Some of the legal matters mentioned include procedures for body cameras used by the Garland Police Department or other matters involving procedures with state government.
“All of those things are rewarding and necessary as an attorney,” Maynard said.
Soon, Maynard will be sitting next to Garland commissioners to offer legal advice. Micheal Porter, a lawyer from Fayetteville submitted a letter of resignation in April. Porter said it was a pleasure to represent the town for almost four years. But he had to step down because of a heavy caseload and court schedule, which left him without enough time to devote to the board.
Commissioners spent several months searching for the replacement. During a previous meeting, Murphy presented a proposal from The Brough Law Firm out of Chapel Hill, but commissioners believed Maynard was the best choice, since he was closer to Garland. For the town’s 2018-2019 budget, commissioners approved $10,000 for legal expenses.
Due to Maynard’s schedule, there’s a possibility that regular meetings for the board will be changed. Each month, the gathering is held at 6:30 p.m. on the second Tuesday of each month. Thursday’s meeting was recessed and will convene at 1 p.m. Wednesday, June 27. Murphy said commissioners will have to approve a resolution to change the meeting date each month. It will be discussed at the upcoming meeting.
Reach Chase Jordan at 910-249-4617. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.