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Polson city manager defends city attorney

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POLSON — Polson city manager Todd Crossett defended city attorney James Raymond, who has been drawing heat from community members, who wanted Raymond’s contract terminated. Several people have questioned his job performance on issues such as meeting attendance and payment of impact fees.

Another criticism is that Raymond may not answer legal questions at city commission meetings. 

Raymond works for the city, Crossett said, so when he’s asked to give a legal opinion right off the top of his head in a council meeting, that’s hard to do. There is research to be done, and Raymond’s opinion has to stand up in court, if it should go that far, Crossett explained. 

As far as Raymond’s attendance at city commission meetings, “That’s my decision,” Crossett explained.

According to minutes of the July 2 meeting, Raymond’s contract was not discussed in a city commission meeting because Crossett polled the city commissioners before the meeting, and the majority did not wish to give notice to Raymond. Since nothing was done, the contract automatically renewed.

As far as Raymond’s job performance, “James is proactive,” Crossett said, “and he works more hours than we pay him for.”

Although Crossett said he’s more than happy to take advice from DOVES, he also said he can’t have Raymond answering to an advocacy group. 

Crossett said, “(Mayor Pat DeVries) and I offered to sit down and talk with them.”

As of press time, Crossett said DOVES had not responded.

 “I disagree that (Raymond has) done anything knowingly wrong. I disagree that he’s part of a ‘good old boys network,’ and I disagree that he isn’t doing a good job,” Crossett emphasized.

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