It’s not really laughable to sometimes witness why Marco Island’s City Council is often regarded as a comedy. Example: A City Attorney is employed to guide, counsel and represent the City in all legal matters. He or she is supposed to ensure that the city’s legal interests are not compromised. In legal matters, the City Attorney works to prevent legal surprises for the city leadership and to protect the administration against indefensible legal entanglements. That’s the theory.
Anyone remotely familiar with the current debacle regarding Marco’s former City Manager assaulting a female school principal and the subsequent incoherent involvements of Councilors Honig and Grifoni, (and, by extension, Marco’s City Council), will reasonably conclude that Alan Gabriel’s legal guidance as Marco’s City Attorney was, well, less than spectacular.
Here comes the comical part: At the 04 June City Council meeting, the reasonable motion by Councilors Batte and Brown to have Mr. Gabriel replaced by a different attorney from his parent law firm was defeated… (ready?)…in the interest ofcontinuity and stability! So, according to this reasoning, if you happen to be on trial (say, for your life), and your lawyer is doing a careless job of defending you, it’s smart to keep him/her on the job for the sake of “continuity and stability” than to get a different attorney! If you hire a housekeeper to keep your home tidy but the house becomes severely disordered, do you keep the employee for the sake of “continuity and stability”? I think not.
If, as the motion stated, a replacement attorney were requested and assigned to Marco from the same parent firm, (as opposed to searching for an entirely different law firm), continuity and stability would not be dramatically compromised. Plus, since associates of any given firm usually aren’t clones of one another, Marco might receive a more suitable legal advisor. Managerial intellect doesn’t normally ignore, tolerate or continue incompetence, right? On Marco Island, it does.