Northampton Mediation

Published 10:53 am Friday, July 8, 2011

JACKSON — The Northampton County Board of Commissioners has hired legal counsel to represent them during next week’s mediation with the Board of Education.

On Wednesday, after meeting in a closed session to consult with Board Attorney Charles Vaughan, the commissioners approved to contract with Attorney Garris Neil Yarborough with The Yarborough Law Firm, P.A. in Fayetteville.

Next Thursday (July 14) at 2 p.m., the commissioners and the school board will conduct a joint meeting regarding the dispute over the county’s reduction of $393,462 from the schools’ current expense.

According to the contract approved by the commissioners, Yarborough will represent the county during that mediation process for $300 per hour and travel at one-half ($150) of that rate. The county is also responsible for mileage reimbursement of 50 cent per mile, lodging and any out-of-pocket expenses such as transcripts, copies, etc.

Yarborough requested that a $5,000 retainer to draw down on for fees initially and then to go into a regular billing cycle.

County Manager Wayne Jenkins said payment will come from the county’s budget for legal matters.

Commission Vice Chair James Hester moved to approve the contract and the motion was seconded by Robert Carter. The measure passed without objection.

Yarborough represented the Halifax County Commissioners during a dispute with the Halifax County Board of Education in 2009.