The City Attorney’s office consists of one City Attorney and one Assistant City Attorney with six Deputy City Attorneys.
The Attorneys are general municipal attorneys and represent the City in a wide variety of judicial and administrative
proceedings. The City Attorney’s office represents the City in litigation matters and prosecutes violators of City laws.
The Office provides legal advice to the City Council, Planning Commission, City Departments and other agencies, boards and
committees, as well as drafting ordinances, contracts, resolutions and agreements.
The City Attorney’s office mission is to be the best possible provider of effective legal services by listening to our
clients' needs, providing sound and objective legal advice, respecting our clients' feelings, and maintaining our clients'
trust through the development and maintenance of superior legal skills and a professional image. The City Attorney’s clients
consist of the Mayor and City Council, Planning Commission, City Departments, and other advisory bodies.
Role of the City Attorney
Complex laws, a more litigious society and demands by citizens for additional services and the resulting diversification
of City operations, have significantly increased the City's legal burden. One of the most important functions of the City
Attorney is to render advice to the City Council to ensure that the Council's actions fall within the framework of the
law. In this role the City Attorney advises the City Council on procedural and substantive legal issues, the possible legal
ramifications of proposed courses of action and on matters directly affecting the conduct of City Council business, such as
public meeting and conflict of interest laws.
The City Attorney is charged with the responsibility of drafting or reviewing a large variety of legal documents necessary for
the daily operation of the City. These include contracts, leases, deeds, resolutions, ordinances, agreements, reports, bonds,
insurance, and many others.
Perhaps a more familiar and obvious role of the City Attorney is to appear in court on behalf of the City. The City
Attorney represents the City in both criminal and civil matters. As the chief legal officer of the City, the City Attorney
has primary responsibility for the criminal prosecution of violations of City ordinances, which includes prosecution of
violations of housing and building codes, business license codes, and crimes involving the public peace, morals, and
welfare. On the civil side, the City Attorney defends and sometimes initiates litigation involving personal injury
liability, the environment, contract disputes, civil rights or personnel issues.
A fundamental goal of the City Attorney is to endeavor to use in house staff to do as much of the City's legal work as
possible. However, certain legal issues must be sent out because the matter is so specialized or requires large commitments
of time on a periodic basis or the Department cannot absorb the work with existing staff due to trial scheduled and workload.
In these cases, the trial schedules and workloads of existing attorneys that the City engages outside law firms to represent
the City's legal interest in order to meet the offices obligations to provide timely and effective legal services. The City
Attorney's Office closely monitors the work and handles some matters in conjunction with outside counsel whenever possible to
keep costs down.
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