Jul 102013

By Naomi Hatch
The Taylor Town Council held a lengthy executive session July 3 to receive legal advice on two issues, but when council members returned to regular session, they voted only to ask staff to do more research on one item, and to negotiate on the other.
Councilman Gary Solomon spoke for more than 20 minutes during the call to the public regarding a lawsuit filed against him and Sol’s Construction by Hatch Development.
Solomon noted that the lawsuit says he was negligent and in breach of the contract regarding alleged town code violations related to sewer infrastructure in the Roy Palmer Business Park.
He gave a short summary of his experience in subdivisions and his involvement in the business park in the summer of 2006. Jason Hatch of Hatch Development had hired him to do some infrastructure work at the business park. Solomon said, “It was a mess,” referring to Hatch’s work. When the monsoons came the Hunt home was flooded. He said that at the time of the flood the town owned the property, noting, “It’s all in the public record,” including the settled claim in 2010.
Five years later a lawsuit claims Solomon did not put the lid on a manhole. He said that he made a written statement when he started the project noting at least four violations by Hatch. Following his comments, he encouraged his fellow council members to look at the public records.
Jason Hatch was present and asked to speak, making a brief statement.
“Everything that I did was a direct result of the agreement that I had, it was transparent,” said Hatch, noting that an engineer was on site, and inspected and documented everything. Hatch said that Solomon was invited to attend the settlement meeting, but did not. Hatch told council they need to look at the agreements.
Solomon asked to speak again, but was told by Mayor Fay Hatch that he had had his turn.
Solomon then asked that he be dismissed from the council meeting, and the mayor agreed.
Alleged town code violations regarding sewer infrastructure in the Roy Palmer Business Park were on the agenda, and council unanimously agreed to secure legal advice on this item when they went into executive session to discuss potential litigation with Hancock Cattle Co., LLC.
Following a two-hour executive session, Mayor Hatch asked for any open discussion on the Roy Palmer Business Park and there was none. A motion to have the town attorney and town staff do some additional research on this matter passed unanimously.
The mayor then asked for any open discussion on the potential Hancock Cattle Co. litigation and there was none. A motion to authorize staff members to meet with Eddie Hancock on a proposed agreement passed unanimously.