RELEASE DATE: January 30, 2023
DUE DATE: February 28, 2023, at 4:00 PM PT
The City of Washougal, Washington invites proposals from qualified firms or individuals interested in providing regular, ongoing City Attorney services to the City of Washougal. The City seeks services encompassing the traditional scope of civil municipal law, except for Code Enforcement legal support, which is provided by a City Prosecutor under a separate agreement. The City currently obtains and anticipates continuing the assistance of other attorneys and law firms for specialty legal work, at the City’s discretion. The current City Attorney providing services under agreement is retiring at the end of March.
To reply to this Request for Proposals, please submit proposals to:
Finance Director/City Clerk
1701 C Street
Washougal, WA 98671
(360) 835-8501, ext. 503
An e-mail copy of the proposal is preferred and may be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The deadline to submit proposals is February 28, 2023, at 4:00 PM PT.
The City of Washougal operates as a non-charter optional code city with a Council–Manager form of government. This form of government was instituted after voters approved a change in form of government in November 2018. Prior to the change, the City operated with a Mayor-Council form of government. The City Council is comprised of seven members, elected at large by the citizens of Washougal. They are part-time officials who exercise the legislative powers of the city and determine matters of policy. Council Position #1 is designated as the Mayor and chairs meetings, authenticates documents and serves as the ceremonial head of the City. The Council is supported by several advisory boards and commissions. The Council appoints a full-time City Manager who is the head of the executive branch and serves as the professional administrator of the organization, coordinating day-to-day activities and implementing policy established by the Council.
The City serves a population of approximately 17,000 and provides a full range of municipal services including:
- Police protection
- Fire protection and emergency medical services (contracted with City of Camas)
- Public Works (Water, Sewer, Stormwater, Streets, Parks and Recreation)
- Community Development
- General Administrative Services
Municipal court, jail, prosecutor, public defender, and related services are all contracted. The Washougal School District serves the majority of the City. The Camas School District provides services in the northwestern portion of the City.
The City Manager supervises and manages the legal services for the City. The City Attorney reports to the City Manager. Individual departments may frequently initiate legal services work, although the City Manager retains the core responsibility for supervising and coordinating legal services and the legal budget.
SCOPE OF WORK
The City Attorney provides legal advice, counsel, services, consultation, and opinions to the City Council, City Manager, and other City management staff, on the full scope of civil municipal legal assignments, including but not limited to: all matters related to the Washougal Municipal Code; state statutes and rules related to Code cities; ordinances and resolutions of the Council; land use planning; compliance with City, state and federal regulatory requirements; intergovernmental agreements; laws against discrimination; public private development partnerships; construction of public works; utility regulations and operations; purchasing and procurement; leasing; purchase and sale of property; employment legal matters; public disclosure issues; Open Public Meetings Act requirements; municipal risk and tort law. Support of the code enforcement and nuisance abatement function is currently provided under a separate City Prosecutor agreement and is not included in this scope. The City Attorney’s advice includes methods to avoid civil litigation.
- Furnishes legal representation at all regular City Council meetings, and at other meetings when requested.
- Appears before courts and administrative agencies to represent the City’s interests. Such administrative and court hearings include but are not limited to: appeals to the City Hearing Examiner of land use matters and appeals to superior court of final administrative decisions made by City officials. Particularly when opposing parties are represented by legal counsel at such hearings, the City may choose to also have legal representation.
- Prepares and reviews ordinances and resolutions, contracts and other documents for legal correctness and acceptability.
- Works cooperatively with the City Prosecutor, Municipal Research Services Center (MRSC) and special legal counsel retained by the City for special projects.
- Coordinates with other special counsel, as needed, to assure proper management of legal issues, and proper coordination and transition of legal issues among special counsel.
- Assists City officials and employees to maintain awareness of ethical standards and appearance of fairness standards, and to avoid potential conflicts of interest, prohibited transactions and the appearance of prohibited transactions.
- Assists City officials and employees to understand the legal roles and duties of their respective offices and interrelationships with others.
- Provides the City Council with guidance as to Robert’s Rules of Orders and related procedural matters relating to Council meetings.
- Prepares legal opinions and memoranda at the request of the City Manager or the Council.
- Provides the City Council and administration a legal perspective and advice on various governmental issues.
- Performs other legal services and tasks, as assigned by the City Manager or designee.
- The appointed City Attorney attends all City Council business meetings. Regularly scheduled meetings are held at 7 pm the second and fourth Mondays of each month, except in November and December, when meetings are held the first, second and third Mondays. The second and third meetings in December are often cancelled. Attendance at various other meetings may be required occasionally. The City Attorney is expected to attend all Council business meetings unless excused by the City Manager or designee, so that there remains continuity in representation.
- The City Attorney may be asked to attend other meetings as needed.
- The City Attorney must be available by phone, cell phone, and e-mail.
- Timeliness of response from and accessibility to the City Attorney is an important aspect of the service. Accessibility includes the ability to be generally available to attend meetings in person and the ability to be reached promptly by telephone and e-mail.
- Each attorney in the proposed team must possess a Juris Doctorate degree and have graduated from a law school accredited by the American Bar Association.
- Each attorney in the proposed team must be a member in good standing of the Washington State Bar Association.
- The proposed designated City Attorney should have a minimum of five years experience in the field of general municipal law, with particular experience in land use, public works and intergovernmental agreements desired.
The City anticipates an initial two-year agreement, with options for extensions to be negotiated.
- Description of your law firm/private attorney practice (including professional qualifications of individuals who will provide services).
- Understanding of the type and level of services required, and the capability of providing such services, including an explanation of how these services will best meet the City’s needs.
- Compensation structure for proposed services.
- A list of at least three references regarding reputation and qualifications of the law firm/private attorney.
- Disclosure of any pending litigation or judgments rendered against the law firm/private attorney in any matter relating to professional activities of the firm, including any pending complaints to the Washington State Bar Association.
All proposals will be reviewed and screened by the City. Proposals will be evaluated by considering the proposer’s quality of experience, the strength of the approach described in the proposal, and the cost to the City. Finalists will be invited for interviews, after which the City Manager shall negotiate the professional services agreement, subject to the confirmation of the City Council.
The following is an outline of the selection procedure and a tentative time schedule:
January 30, 2023
Deadline for submission of proposals
February 28, 2023, at 4:00PM PT
Proposal evaluation complete
March 3, 2023
City interviews short-listed vendors*
Week of March 6, 2023
City Council worksession on Agreement
March 13, 2023
City Council Agreement Approval
March 27, 2023
Agreement Start Date
April 1, 2023
*The City reserves the right to make a consultant selection based upon a submitted proposal alone.
DISCRETION AND LIABILITY WAIVER
The City reserves the right to reject any or all proposals, waive technicalities or irregularities, request and obtain supplementary information as may be necessary for the City to analyze the proposals pursuant to the consultant selection criteria listed above and to accept any proposal if such action is believed to be in the best interest of the City.
The consultant, by submitting a response to this RFP, waives all right to protest or seek any legal remedies whatsoever regarding any aspect of this RFP.
The official clock for submission of proposals is located at City Hall. Vendors accept all risks of late delivery of proposals regardless of fault.
QUESTIONS AND CONTACT
The primary contact for questions regarding this RFP is:
Finance Director/City Clerk
1701 C Street
Washougal, WA 98671
(360) 835-8501, ext. 503