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Paonia hires new legal counsel

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The Town of Paonia has new legal representation. At the April 25 board meeting trustees approved a three-year contract with Montrose-based J. David Reed, P.C. The law firm replaces attorney David Marek, who resigned effective April 28.

Attorney Bo James Nerlin will serve as general legal counsel for the town. Nerlin also currently represents the Town of Hotchkiss. Two other companies, the Glenwood Springs-based office of Garfield & Hecht, P.C. and Montrose-based Masters and Viner, submitted proposals to the town. In an open ballot three of five trustees ranked J. David Reed as their top choice for town attorney, and two selected Masters and Viner. Trustee Chelsea Bookout refrained from voting, citing the fact that she missed the special meeting when representatives of the three companies were interviewed in executive session.

"I will say that these are three really qualified town attorneys," said Mayor Pro Tempore David Bradford ahead of the vote. "It's a very difficult choice, actually." In looking at hiring criteria, "Most of the differences seem to be pretty minor."

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