The city of Seaside appointed a new city attorney on Feb. 13. Councilors unanimously confirmed the appointment of Beery Elsner & Hammond to represent the city in legal matters.
After the announcement of a search for a new city attorney in December, the city issued a request for proposals for legal services, City Manager Spencer Kyle said.
Two firms responded to the city's request.
The previous attorney, Dan Van Thiel, had served the city of Seaside since 1969.
He and his wife moved to Baker City about 20 years ago, continuing to represent Seaside and clients throughout the state. He continues to represent the Eastern Oregon cities of Richland, Mount Vernon, Halfway and Baker City.
In their proposal, partner Ashley Driscoll described Beery Elsner & Hammond as a “full service law firm for local governments.”
Clients and references include the cities of Cornelius, Hillsboro and North Plains.
Emily M. Matasar will serve as lead attorney and primary contact for the city, although all firm employees will be available for any work the city assigns.
Kyle said legal costs will likely be higher under the proposed fee structure. The city previously engaged in legal services based upon a monthly flat rate of about $43,000 per year. The new agreement includes an hourly billing rate from $150 for legal assistants, and $285 an hour for partners and affiliated counsel.
The annual cost will depend on the number of items directed for legal review, as well as their complexity, Kyle said in a staff report. City staff is also working to include funding into the 2023-24 budget that will be sufficient for the city's needs.
Such a plus for Seaside to have chosen a new firm to represent Seaside! Long overdue!
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