Board looks at making change in city attorney positionPublished 12:11am Thursday, June 28, 2012
NATCHEZ — The City of Natchez could soon be getting a young, fresh face in the form of a new city attorney.
Mayor-elect Larry L. “Butch” Brown has recommended local lawyer Hyde Carby, 32, to the Natchez Board of Aldermen to be the next city attorney.
Brown said he believes the board has agreed to honor his recommendation.
Brown said he has been very impressed with the work Adams County Board of Supervisors Attorney Scott Slover has done so far for the county, which he said got him thinking about hiring a young city attorney that could stick around for a while.
“It made me stop and think that it’s time to start preparing for the future,” Brown said.
Ward 6 Alderman Dan Dillard said he is in favor of considering a new city attorney and hearing from other lawyers in the community. He said, however, the drawback to that would be the risk of dragging the appointment process out.
“I like the idea of having a young (city) attorney,” Dillard said. “We could find someone older with more experience, but I think we need to plan for the future.”
Carby, who said he does not have prior experience in municipal law, said he does not have any apprehensions about taking the job as city attorney. He said, however, he knows the learning curve will be steep.
“That’s something I knew going into this, and I am prepared for if I am appointed,” Carby said.
To help speed up that learning curve, Brown said the city would contract as needed with former city attorney Walter Brown to guide and advise Carby on legal matters facing the city.
Carby said he has a mentor relationship with Walter Brown and has had several “boot-camp sessions” in preparation for the city job already.
Ward 1 Alderwoman Joyce Arceneaux-Mathis said she too hopes that bringing in a young city attorney will increase the longevity of the position.
If appointed, Carby will replace current City Attorney Everett Sanders.
Mathis said she thinks using both Sanders and Walter Brown as consultants to guide Carby would be beneficial because of Walter Brown’s experience with legal matters before Sanders was city attorney and Sanders’ knowledge of current city legal matters.
“I think it would also be good for unity in the community if we used both men as consultants,” Mathis said.
Carby currently practices law at Carby & Carby with his father, Philip Carby.
Carby graduated from LSU in 2002 with a bachelor’s degree in English. He graduated from law school at Ole Miss in 2006. He was formerly a lawyer at Lightfoot, Franklin and White in Birmingham, Ala., where he handled products liability cases.
Carby and his wife, Lee, of Greenwood, moved back to Natchez in 2009. They have two children, Jane, 2, and 2-month-old Walker.
Carby said his plan, if appointed as city attorney, is to stay in the position for some time.
“That’s my hope, that I would be involved on a continual basis even as administrations change,” Carby said. “City projects and city problems don’t neatly end at the end of an administration. I think having that continuity in the position is important.”
A majority of the board of aldermen must vote in favor of Carby before he can be hired.