Benton seeks new city attorney; Brien to resign

Brien

The City of Benton is seeking a new city attorney following Zach Brien's announcement he plans to resign in October.

Mayor Rita Dotson said her office has sent letters to local attorneys who may be interested in the opportunity beginning Nov. 1. The letter asks those interested to submit a sample engagement letter disclosing the expected monthly retainer fee to include all city council meetings, planning and zoning meetings, drafting routine ordinances, resolutions, orders and legal instruments, attending necessary training and advising the mayor, city council, city officials and city employees on routine issues not requiring more than 15 minutes of time. The job description and expectations are detailed in a letter which may be requested by emailing City Clerk/Treasurer Bethany Cooper at bcooper@cityofbenton.org. The submission deadline is Sept. 20 at 4 p.m.

Dotson said the city attorney position is one which the mayor recommends for appointment and then seeks council approval.

"We hate to lose Zach but he's going to do bigger and better things and have advantages in a larger city he didn't have here," she said. "He is a terribly bright young man who I've leaned on the past three years knowing he was going to give me the correct answer. He's as smart and dedicated as I've ever seen and we're sure going to miss him."

Brien said he and his wife, Anna, and their two sons are moving to Lexington to take advantage of career opportunities. He said they are a little sad about leaving home but were offered an opportunity they couldn't pass up. His new job, which he begins in Nov., is Vice President and Personal Trust Specialist with BB&T Wealth. He has served as Benton's city attorney since July 1, 2016.

"Benton will always be home," he said. "I am so fortunate to have such a wonderful, loving and supportive family. Bob Prince has been the best mentor, attorney and partner that anyone could ask for, and I wish him the best of luck continuing the long tradition at Prince & Brien. It has been an honor to serve as City Attorney, and an absolute pleasure to serve under Mayor Dotson, the city administration and the council members. We've seen wonderful growth and progress in the City and I'm sure it will continue under Mayor Dotson's leadership. This opportunity is simply best for my family, and we are excited to see what the future holds."

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