LANCASTER — Lancaster City Council unanimously hired a new city attorney Monday.
Beth Wesley, a Lancaster attorney and 2001 Garrard County High School graduate, was sworn in as part-time city attorney.
She replaces former City Attorney Leonard Smith, who resigned in June after nearly two years of service.
“Beth will make a very nice city attorney,” Mayor Brenda Powers said.
Wesley earned her undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Louisville. After becoming a licensed attorney in 2008, she joined the Casey County law firm Byrom and Overstreet as an associate. In May 2011, she started her own practice in Lancaster.
“I am very proud to be named as city attorney for Lancaster,” she said.
In other City Council business Monday, the meeting deteriorated when Councilman Brandon McGlone raised a concern with a $100 catering bill that Powers recently authorized.
McGlone has questioned other catering bills as well as expenses marked as “miscellaneous” during recent City Council meetings. He suggested the city return to a purchase order system, where such expenditures must be approved in advance.
“I hope and pray I never have to ask you permission for anything,” Powers said to McGlone.
Powers said the $100 catering bill was much cheaper than anything she could have purchased for the city’s guests at the grocery store. The expenditure in question was used to hold a small ceremony honoring out-of-town guests who were instrumental in securing a $2.5 million Economic Development Administration grant for the city’s future water plant, the mayor said. Members of the media were invited, and the menu was ham biscuits and beverages.
“It’s called Kentucky hospitality,” Powers said.
McGlone was not satisfied, stating this was the second month in a row that he had seen an unusual catering bill. He said it is not necessary for the city to “feed everyone” on the taxpayers’ money.
“Why do you have to pick on me?” Powers said.
Councilman Bret Baierlein tried to intervene in the heated discussion.
“The catering thing may seem like small potatoes ...,” he said.
Powers interrupted, “I don’t ask you all to spend money on anything. I want people to come to Garrard County and know they will have hospitality.”
McGlone said, “A bunch of small potatoes makes a whole big plate of mashed potatoes. Every time I open (the monthly bills) up, I get sick.”
Powers attempted to interrupt, to which McGlone said, “Don’t talk over me. I’m going to keep bringing it up. I think that’s what our taxpayers deserve.”
The mayor said, “Just be quiet.”
At that point, the discussion ended. City Council voted 4-1 to approve payment of the monthly bills. McGlone cast the sole dissenting vote. Councilwoman Maggie Mick was not present.