The City Attorney’s office is made up of the City Attorney, his assistant and two support employees. City attorney is either an elected or an appointed position in a municipal government within the United States. City attorneys are the all-purpose attorneys in the municipal council and are tasked with the representation of the city in the various judicial and administrative proceedings, which require adequate legal representation. The office of the city attorney is also tasked with the representation of the city in the various litigation matters as well as prosecution of parties, which violate the city laws and regulations.
In addition, the office of the City Attorney is charged with the issue of legal advice to the various city authorities such as the City Council, Planning Commissions within the city, Park Planning Commission, Traffic Commission, City Departments, and other Agencies in the city. Additionally, the boards and committees in the city, which are instituted under government offices, are provided with the legal knowledge by the office of City Attorney. Furthermore, the office is tasked with drafting of ordinances in the city, contracts, resolutions and agreements on behalf of the city governmental agencies. Hence, the office is liable of issue of advice to the governmental agencies in the city.
The office aims at provision of adequate and high quality legal services to clients. This is actualized by listening to the needs of the clients and ensuring to provide services, which are adequate in terms of the requirements of the clients. Additionally, the office aims at ensuring the accrual of client confidence and trust through the constant delivery of high quality services using superior legal skills and maximization of benefits accrued from the professional image of the society.
The role of the city attorney has increased over the years because of the increase in population size in the city necessitating the need for additional labor to handle the paperwork associated with the numerous legal issues at hand. Increase in the legal issues has increased the roles of the office and its employees. The society has become more litigious than past societies. Furthermore, diversification of city operations have been as a result of the change of society, in terms of legal demands as well as increased legal knowledge of the society.
A vital role or function of the office of the city attorney is the issue of legal advice to the City Council with an aim of ensuring that the Council and its members are able to execute their tasks within the provided legal framework. In this line of function, the office issues the city council with objective and relevant legal advice on the procedural and substantive legal matters. In addition, it also provides the City Council with the possible legal ramifications for the provided possible courses of legal action. Other issues such as public meetings, sessions, and conflicts of interest laws are usually developed with respect to the legal issues brought about by the courses of actions from the advice presented by the attorney’s office.
The operation of the city is based on the existing laws, policies and regulations provided for smooth operability of the city. This is paramount in ensuring that the city caters for the demands of the city and handle legal issues with finality. The office of the City Attorney is tasked with ensuring that the city is in possession of documents with prescribed legal courses of action, as well as established laws and regulations for efficiency and effectiveness in running of the city and its affairs. It also entails the review and subsequent drafting of laws for the operability of the city. Such documents include contracts, leases, deeds, declarations, ordinances, bonds, insurance, and other legal documents held by the City Council.
Legal appearances in courtrooms are one of the most visible roles to the public in terms of the role of the City Attorney. The office is tasked with the role of representing the city in both civil and criminal cases given the vast resources, in terms of the professional work force and funds for such litigation processes. Criminal process usually includes the violation of the ordnances primarily drafted by the office of the City Attorney. Violations include the violation of the provided housing and building codes, business licenses codes, and disruptions of public peace, morals and the welfare of the public.
From a civil perspective, the office is tasked with handling cases such as initiation and defense in personal injury, environment litigation, civil rights or personnel injuries. However, the city at times contracts litigation issues to large and well-resourced firms in the city to handle some cases, which are extensive in terms of the needs such as legal paperwork, resources and professional workforce. Such cases may include eminent domains, bond offerings and police civil rights issues
On the other hand, the role of the city mayor is largely embedded in legal or legislation issues as they pertain to running of the city. The legal perspective of the role of the mayor is assumed in that the mayor is tasked with the coordination and interactions with the various legal bodies instituted for various functions in the city. Such functions entail the establishment and enactment of laws and policies such as city taxes, liquor laws building and construction laws among others. Community involvement programs are usually initiated by the mayor or with the effort of the city mayor. Community involvement ensures promotion of public welfare as well as the growth of the city in terms of its development.
The development of the city is exercised through the planning and budgeting processes exercised by the city council. Such meetings are usually chaired by the Mayor who acts as an oversight and approving authority to ensure that the process is conducted in a free and fair manner. The mayor’s office is tasked with oversight of use of the funds accrued from revenues by the city. This ensures use of funds for appropriated projects and programs within the city or municipal.
Funding and budgeting are usually delicate matters especially in the public domain such as in the case of funds held by the city council. Hence, the mayor is tasked with ensuring the appropriation of funds to the various activities engaged by the city council. Moreover, misappropriation of funds usually rests with the mayor who is held liable for the failure or initiation and eventual success of public projects such as infrastructure and community development programs of projects.
Leadership is the main role of the mayor in the city council. The mayor is tasked with chairing the meetings and issue of direction in such meetings to ensure that the city council meets and attains its goals and objectives, as well as the expectations of the public. Public expectations are usually the primary goals of the city councils, which are attainable with the issue of direction from the mayor. Direction assumes numerous perspectives such as deliberation of necessary expenditures to be undertaken by the city council, deliberation on new laws, regulations and policies on issues such as taxes, alcohol and licenses of all kinds.
In conclusion, the mayor is essentially an authority, which is used to oversee all the processes such as establishment and enactment of laws and regulations, budgeting and planning processes, as well as the appropriation of funds for city council activities. In addition, as an oversight authority the mayor and the office is tasked with ensuring use of duns for intended purposes as misappropriation would lead to liability unto the office of the mayor.