The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

January 8, 2014

City schedules special meeting for temporary law services

By Brenden West Assistant Editor
The Clinton Herald

---- — CLINTON — With the recent resignation of city attorney Jeff Farwell, the city of Clinton has scheduled a special meeting for Thursday to discuss a proposed short-term contract with another law agency.

Jessica Kinser, Clinton city administrator, said Tuesday during the city’s strategic planning session that Clinton has immediate legal needs and the meeting will consider a proposal from Frey, Haufe, and Current P.L.C.

“This (contract) is not long term,” she said. “My intent for this contract would be that we hopefully have a need for their services on a limited scope over a two-month period.”

During the meeting, the city will discuss whether to hire the law firm. Kinser explained that a request for proposal process would take too long given the city’s current circumstances.

“If you’re doing something permanently like issuing an RFP for services, you’re looking at something that’s going to take more than a few weeks to do,” she said. “We do have a need for legal services at this point.”

Ward 3 Councilman Ed O’Neill questioned why only one law firm was on the table and asked why Kinser didn’t RFP for temporary services as well. One of the attorneys, John Frey, represents the city in rail park discussions. O'Neill asked if there was also a potential conflict of interest, and Kinser said there are specifications in the proposal that touch on that.

“I think we should have the opportunity before today to throw in a couple of names of law firms,” O’Neill said. “Have them do a proposal on a short-term basis.”

Kinser reiterated the current RFP process would take too long for what the city needs in the near future.

The council will meet at 1 p.m. Thursday.