Business disputes are part and parcel to the running of any established operation. That is true whether the entity is a private business or a public one. If two forces are in disagreement about what should happen, there is a chance that the friction could ignite a legal blaze that can only be put out by being litigated in court.
Alternatively, as appears to be the case involving an update of the charter of the Fayetteville Public Works Commission, a clash can be so troublesome that it may require an act of the state legislature.
According to reports, the city owns the utility and the board is appointed by the council. Under the current charter, the PWC budget and any proposed spending over $10,000 is supposed to be cleared by the council. But that provision is one of many seen as out of date. And with a budget of $350 million, it’s one that is generally ignored.
The council and the board have two competing proposals for updating the charter. The city wants to retain general budget control. The board seeks more freedom by having the utility made a public authority under state law.
The two sides haven’t been able to come to terms up to now. They are slated to make another attempt through mediation later this month. But if it doesn’t lead to anything, the issue could wind up being settled by lawmakers in Raleigh. And at least one delegate says neither side may be happy with the outcome if that course is followed.
Uncertainty is obviously one of the possible downsides whenever parties in a business dispute turn to litigation. It’s clear from this story, that legislation could have a similar downside. Resolution through alternative methodsÂ may be a wiser choice. Helping clients identify and pursue the best option is what Britton Law seeks to deliver. If you are in the midst of a business dispute, call us.