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Littleton picks finalist for law firm

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Council settles on potential alternative to hiring another city attorney

By Ramsey Scott

The Littleton City Council has narrowed the list of law firms to serve in the vacant city attorney position from four to one. 

The council voted 5-1 to move forward with negotiating with the law firm of Kissinger and Fellman to provide legal services to the city. Councilman Phil Cernanec voted against the resolution, and Councilman Bruce Beckman was absent. 

While the council praised all four law firms that interviewed, Kissinger and Fellman received the most support from the majority of the council. The Denver-based law firm has experience working with several Colorado municipalities, including Aurora, Cherry Hills Village and Empire.

“I look forward to working with the City Council and appreciate their confidence in me,” said Kenneth Fellman, a partner at Kissinger and Fellman. “The first step is working out the details of the contract, and I expect that we will be able to accomplish that quickly so that we can start the official relationship as soon as possible.”

Fellman was also mayor of Arvada from 1999 to 2007 and before that served on Arvada’s City Council.

Council member Bruce Stahlman said he thought Kissinger and Fellman’s work with both the public and private sector would serve the city well. 

“I like the fact that Fellman had experience on both sides of the daises. I also liked the fact that they represented 50/50 public private. I think there is some advantage to having some experience in both,” Stahlman said. “And I thought they did a nice job on being aggressive on the pricing. It’s not to say the others weren’t good by any stretch of the imagination.”

In Kissinger and Fellman’s proposal to the city, the firm proposed several pay structures. During its discussions with law firms, council members expressed their desire to keep the current legal staff employed by the city, including the deputy city attorney. 

If Kissinger and Fellman were to be part of a hybrid legal team made up of the law firm and the current legal staff, the firm said it could bill the city a flat rate of $10,400 a month for holding office hours at City Hall four hours a day, three days a week and $5,200 a month for legal representation at regularly scheduled city council meetings, study sessions and various other board meetings. 

The city and Kissinger and Fellman hope to have a contract finalized within the next month. The city is being represented by human resources director Erich Won Savage in the negotiations.

 

Contact Ramsey Scott at ramsey@evergreenco.com or 303-933-2233, ext. 22 and follow him on Twitter @RamseyColumbine.