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City brings city attorney "in house"
Posted 08 - 20 - 2012

“City continues efforts to increase efficiency by bringing City Attorney in house”

NACOGDOCHES- the City of Nacogdoches will once again aim to serve its citizens better by continuing to increase efficiency at City Hall. The City currently contracts legal services on an annual basis which has provided adequate legal services, however the unique opportunity to bring the city attorney in house will help better equip city staff to handle a variety of legal issues. This change will help serve the Citizens of Nacogdoches more effectively on a variety of issues. The proposed 2012-2013 budget creates a full time city attorney’s office within City Hall converting City Attorney Rob Atherton and his legal assistance to full time, from the current arrangement of outside contract counsel.

Mayor Roger Van Horn said “Mr. Atherton has served over 28 years as city attorney, and is recognized throughout the state for his expertise. The legal landscape continues to change rapidly and the new arrangement will allow the legal office to be proactive in addressing issues and in providing timely legal advice to the City.”

Rob Atherton said, “The legal and regulatory environment in which cities operate has become hugely more complex over the years and that trend is growing.  What was once a part time need has grown to be a full time job and then some.  This is an opportunity to do more for the City and its citizens and do it better. We would like to get out in front of issues rather than reacting to them after they have become problems."

The proposed full time city attorney’s office will increase the City’s budget by $66,000 per year, divided equally amongst the three major funds. The current contract for legal services gives the City about 45% of Mr. Atherton’s time. “To be able to acquire the full time services of a proven legal team such as Rob and his legal assistance Jan Robertson at a fraction of the cost will prove to be invaluable to the City and its Citizens.” The total legal budget for next fiscal year is $246,000.

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