MOUNT VERNON — The city of Mount Vernon recently appointed Rob Broeren as assistant city law director, not a new position for the city. Last year, the city had two part-time positions and in the past year city officials made the position one full-time position.
“This is not new, we’ve had this position in the past,” said City Council President John Booth. “[Broeren] will be assisting the law director and whatever he needs. A lot of it will be court time because the law director is also the city prosecutor ... and he will come to city council meetings if the law director can’t be there.”
The assistant law director will earn a salary of $50,638.
“We need an assistant law director,” said Mayor Richard Mavis. “Just like everything else, the responsibility is growing, and as far as I can tell, there is plenty of work for two people.”
Broeren has experience in government, previously working as Knox County’s assistant prosecutor.
“So now that Rob is on board, it’s only been a few months, but in my personal opinion, we need an assistant prosecutor,” said Mavis. “Being law director has a pretty large field of activities, mainly being advisor to administration and council. He also has to be responsible for all the prosecution that goes on in the court, plus advising all the elected officials and department heads, so it’s a big job.”
Being a city official is a demanding position and places precedence on the need for fast interpretation of the law.
“If I get a code and start reading and I need an interpretation, I like to get my answers quick. [Law director Bill Smith] is a researcher and has longevity with the city; that has been helpful. At the same time, he has such a wide variety of activities of which he is responsible for, and the assistant can provide that kind of support that he needs,” said Mavis.
“I think Bill has done a good job of providing the council with information ... but he needs support and he has been successful in choosing effective people [to work alongside him],” said Mavis.
“I talk to [Smith] pretty frequently and we talked [recently] about a couple of areas of the code that I felt I needed to have some definition on. I depend on his legal advice frequently. He gets a lot of questions from the council and David Glass works with him, as well as Terry Scott,” said Mavis.