After hearing proposals from four law firms, members of the Littleton City Council believe they may have found a solution to filling the vacant city attorney position.
The council has been trying to decide how it would replace former city attorney Kirsten Crawford, who resigned in February. In a review of the city's legal services, one suggestion was to outsource the work to a legal firm instead of hiring a full-time city attorney.
Over the past month, the council interviewed representatives from four law firms: Murray, Dahl, Kuechenmeister and Renaud; Bradley, Devitt, Hass and Watkins; Kissinger and Fellman; and Hayes, Phillips, Hoffmann and Carberry.
After the final interviews May 14, the general consensus was that at least one of the candidates would meet the needs of the city.
Councilman Bruce Beckman said the council should keep working on the issue with the applicants and that he liked some firms more than others. He urged the council members to be tough negotiators if they enter into a contract with one of the firms, a sentiment echoed by other council members.
Councilman Jim Taylor said he was opposed to hiring an outside firm as opposed to having an in-house city attorney. But given the sentiment of the other members, Taylor understood that would probably not be the case.
Taylor said he wanted to make sure whomever the council picks will work with current staff.
Taylor's view was shared by all of the council. In the questionnaire sent to the four firms, the council asked them to describe how their firms would be able to work with the city's existing staff.
City Manager Michael Penny said the bulk of the daily legal work would still be handled by Deputy City Attorney Kristen Schledorn and her staff. When the city needs additional legal help with specialized issues like zoning regulations and land use, the city could then turn to the contract firm for services.
The council had planned to discuss the options more this week.
Contact Ramsey Scott at email@example.com or 303-933-2233, ext. 22, and follow him on Twitter @RamseyColumbine.