City Attorney's Office

FY 2024 ANNUAL BUDGET


The City Attorney’s Office serves in an advisory capacity to the City Council, Boards, Committees, Commissions, the City Manager, and other City departments. The City Attorney is an officer of the City with responsibility to “conduct all the law business in which the City is interested.” Wis. Stat. §62.09(12). The City Attorney’s Office provides a wide array of legal services to its client, the City of Eau Claire, including: prosecute traffic and ordinance violations; draft and update ordinances; negotiate, prepare and draft contracts, development agreements, real estate documents, use agreements and leases; provide written legal opinions; litigate claims and lawsuits; lead labor negotiations and grievance representation; consult with City employees and public officials and respond to legal inquiries from the public that relate to the City. The prior year or two has been exceptionally active with numerous major developments, negotiations, and cases.


Objectives:

  • Provide excellent legal service to our client, the City of Eau Claire, through proactive representation that promotes open, honest and lawful municipal corporate practices.
  • Effective disposition of forfeiture prosecutions and civil cases.
  • High opinion of professionalism from the department’s constituents, including City Council, City staff, judges, lawyers, citizens, court personnel and outside organizations.

Outputs:

  • Negotiated successful development agreements with Phoenix Parkside LLC and Merge LLC, for multi-level residential housing projects and Menomonie Market Holdings, for a commercial grocery store to complete the North Barstow redevelopment in TID #8.
  • Reached and drafted successful development agreements and operational agreements for the Sonnentag Event Center.
  • Represented the City on legal issues related to the Stewart-Hauge annexation into the City and the substantial residential housing opportunities, water quality and service upgrades.
  • Provided legal opinions and direction related to state legislative actions as those acts directly impact municipal law and city operations including water use and PFS issues.
  • Negotiated a successful development agreement to create a multi-level residential housing component with Merge, LLC, for the Transit Transfer Center.
  • Serves the City as labor negotiator and legal counsel on labor negotiations and represented City against prohibited practice claims related to the City’s three labor unions.
  • Provided legal training and support to police officers, firefighters, supervisors, public officials and employees on a variety of legal or law related issues to support lawful operations and keep the City current on civil rights, changes in the law, and best practices.
  • Assisted public record custodians, public officials, boards and commissions and administrative staff on Open Meeting and Public Records Law issues and assisted in complex Public Records Law requests.
  • Shared our expertise and experience outside the organization locally serving as a day co-chair for the Chamber’s Leadership Eau Claire Government and Law Day.
  • Addressed chronic public nuisance properties throughout the City including the Regency Hotel with updates, inspections, and when necessary prosecution of ordinance violations and civil legal actions.
  • Presented session on First Amendment audits at the annual 2023 League of WI Municipalities Attorney Institute.
  • Reached an agreement with the City of Altoona to facilitate EMS Services that provides both communities with excellent emergency medical services and increasing cost recovery.
  • Negotiated and drafted real estate and development proposals central to the City’s objective of providing affordable workforce housing options for the community while creating urban redevelopment.
  • Provided legal opinions and advice ranging from responses to phone calls, walk-in inquiries, and e-mail questions to drafting formal opinion memos to all city staff and council members to be proactive and meet legal standards prior to statutory violation or liability exposure that could result in operation delays, political embarrassment, or financial damages.
  • Prosecuted city ordinance and traffic citations and provided legal advice and training on their proper issuance to provide a safe, healthy and livable neighborhood within the City.
  • Assisted City staff on issues related to employment, labor, special assessments and real estate matters including easements and encroachments.
  • Worked along side City staff to create the Neighborhood Association Event ordinance.
  • Negotiated and drafted real estate and development project agreements with Country Jam owners to annex and develop a regional event center in the City and worked extensively on an alcohol service agreement in order to hold successful and safe events at the new site.
  • Assisted City staff in drafting agreements to facilitate use of City properties for activities to promote an engaged and healthy community.
  • Reached a successful conclusion on the excessive property tax valuation claim filed by national business entity, Target Corporation.

City Attorney Expenditure Summary