Little's proposal: Have the city of Anniston pay $34,595.81 to the Rutledge and Yaghmai law firm, as the councilman's motion put it, "for services rendered" over the past 10 months in wrestling over control of the former Fort McClellan.
Three of Little's council colleagues wasted no time in taking a Louisville Slugger to this notion, one no sturdier than a paper-mache piñata. What spilled to the floor was not the usual candy found in a piñata, but instead the byproduct of a terrible idea that goes against the principles of good government.
Consider the evidence.
Did the city council request the law firm to do legal work on its behalf from November 2008 until last month? No, in fact, approximately a year ago a majority on the council voted to sever a relationship with Rutledge and Yaghmai.
Is the city flush with enough cash to dole out nearly $35,000 in legal work it did not solicit? No, in fact, at the same meeting this week Anniston finalized a deal to allow a nonprofit to run a community center, something it would likely not have done in fatter economic times.
Is Little free of any entanglements with the Birmingham law firm? No, in fact, he has retained Rutledge and Yaghmai to assist him in numerous lawsuits, including one alleging this newspaper libeled him. The point is that a more conscientious elected representative would avoid the appearance of impropriety. Little introducing a measure that could enrich the law firm he is retaining fails that appearance standard.
Is this the end of his time-wasting? No, according to Little, he will ask the city to pay other legal fees for work it neither sought nor agreed to pay for. The best idea for the council is to dispense with these frivolous requests as quickly as it did on Tuesday.