The mission of the City Attorney's office is to help the City achieve its policy goals and serve the public interest by providing excellent, objective, timely and economical legal advice and advocacy to the City Council, City Manager and all city departments, irrespective of politics or self-interest.
Goals And Responsibilities
- Provide advice and review of the official actions of the City, its elected officials and employees to ensure that they do not violate the law or the ethical standards provided by the law.
- Reduce litigation by early involvement of legal department in matters and by taking a proactive approach in guiding the City toward legally sound decisions; manage risk to the City related to legal liability.
- Represent the City in legal matters involving civil litigation and land use appeals at the local, state and federal level.
- Provide a sound legal framework for the City by working with staff to develop organized and appropriate provisions in codes, policies, regulations and written operating procedures, as well as forms for contracts and other legal documents.
- Review, edit and approve or disapprove contracts, agreements, ordinances, personnel policies, resolutions and other official City actions; review and advise on employee grievances and settlement of employee disputes and claims.
- Assist departments in understanding of legal requirements so that they may take appropriate action, while consulting with the City Attorney's office when needed.
- Provide advice and advocacy on behalf of elected officials and City Manager to support municipal operations, projects, programs and policies with other local, state and federal agencies.
- Minimize use and cost of outside counsel, while assuring that outside expertise is used when needed and maintaining reasonable job expectations for in-house attorneys; manage contracts and direct work of outside counsel as needed.
- Work with and manage Accessibility Program and continue to foster and build positive relationship with people with disabilities and advocates.
- Represent and advise the Bend Urban Renewal Agency.
- Maintain good communication with department heads and other management staff regarding their actions that may have legal implications.
- Participate in formal and informal processes for code and policy regulation amendments.
- Prepare and/or review standard forms for contracts, leases, public contracting procedures and intergovernmental agreements.
- Review and assist drafting or amendments of administrative policies.
- Provide appropriate training for Council and staff on matters with legal implication, and cross training, advice and legal representation to the various departments to assure consistent and coordinated City services and management of City operations.
- Provide quality written and oral legal analysis and advice to Council, City Manager and staff as needed.
- Work closely with City Manager and management staff to identify matters that may lead to legal disputes to develop strategies that reduce the risk of adverse decisions.
- Advise staff on legally appropriate means of communicating with the public; provide courteous and timely referrals and response to citizen and press inquiries.