SOUTH PASADENA – ColoradoBoulevard.net:
The South Pasadena City Council approved the award of contract for City Attorney services to Richards Watson & Gershon at its City Council meeting on June 7, 2023.
By News Desk
Colantuono, Highsmith & Whatley has been on contract to provide legal services to the City of South Pasadena since June 2014. On January 18, 2023, the City Council directed the City Manager to work with a Council subcommittee to issue a Request for Proposals for City Attorney services and to obtain bids from qualified law firms. The committee was directed to take into consideration the scope of services offered by those municipal law firms, and to ensure that the selected firm serves the City’s needs and the community’s priorities. The City Council appointed Mayor Pro Tem Evelyn Zneimer and Councilmember Janet Braun as the City Council Subcommittee for City Attorney services. Eleven law firms submitted proposals for review and consideration, and four law firms were selected to move forward with an interview process with the City Council. Richards Watson & Gershon was identified as the top candidate, and the Subcommittee and staff engaged in negotiations for the new contract, effective June 7, 2023.
Roxanne Diaz is the newly-designated City Attorney for South Pasadena. Ms. Diaz is a seasoned attorney in municipal law, and brings over 25 years of experience in local government, including service as City Attorney and Assistant City Attorney in multiple cities. Stephanie Cao is the designated Assistant City Attorney for South Pasadena, and her practice focuses on compliance with the Brown Act, Public Records Act, zoning and land use, code enforcement, and contracts. Ms. Cao brings 12 years of experience to the team, and has served as Chief Assistant City Attorney and Assistant City Attorney in other cities. Additionally, Ms. Cao is a resident of South Pasadena. David Snow is the designated City Land Use and Housing attorney with over 30 years of experience, including 10 years as a public agency land use planner. Mr. Snow has represented public agencies throughout the state in complex land use projects as well as having served as City Attorney and Assistant City Attorney in multiple cities. Mr. Snow is also a member of the American Planning Association and holds an American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) designation.
The Richards Watson & Gershon team for South Pasadena and additional members of the firm will be partnering with the City of South Pasadena to host a ‘Meet the Firm’ event. The public is invited to join the City Council in welcoming and meeting the Richards Watson & Gershon team on June 21, 2023 from 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm, in the City Hall Courtyard located at 1414 Mission Street, before the regularly scheduled City Council meeting.
The City Attorney transition, including an orientation for the new firm, is underway. The City Council’s Proposed Budget for Fiscal Year 2023-24, provides for a $420,000 legal services budget. The City Council oversees the City Attorney services contract, and works with the City Manager to manage the work flow and utilization of legal services across the City and its various departments.
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