The City of Delta has engaged David Smith of Garfield & Hecht in Glenwood Springs as the new city attorney. He replaces Mike Schottelkotte, who is retiring in August.
In anticipation of Schottelkotte's departure, the city issued a request for proposals; 16 responses were received. During interviews with the finalists, Smith was the top choice among both council and staff. City manager Justin Clifton said he seems a good fit for Delta — professional and astute, yet comfortable to be around.
Garfield & Hecht represents a number of municipal clients, and can provide expertise in specialized fields such as water and employment law. Although Smith's hourly rate is higher than Schottelkotte's, Clifton said the need for special counsel may be eliminated.
Smith charges $160 per hour for non-reimbursable time, and $190 per hour for services that can be charged to a third party, such as a developer. Paralegal work will be billed at the rate of $90 per hour.
Smith has proposed Nicole Garrimone-Campagna, also of Garfield & Hect, as assistant attorney. "She will serve as primary backup in case of my unavailability," Smith advised Clifton in a letter. "Nicole specializes in water law and would handle those matters as they arise."
The city is expected to reimburse Smith for mileage expenses to and from Delta, but will not be charged attorney travel time except for matters where the fees may be reimbursable by others.To minimize travel costs, he will probably attend only one of the two city council meetings held each month. Clifton said Smith is "tech savvy" and easily able to deal with questions from a remote location.
Schottelkotte billed the city $125 per hour. Over the past five years, city attorney fees have ranged from a low of $18,000 a year to a high of $56,000, Clifton said. The city pays only for services used.
According to the firm's online profile, Garfield & Hecht P.C. was founded in 1975 by Ronald Garfield and Andrew Hecht. The firm has offices in Aspen, Avon, Basalt, Glenwood Springs and Rifle.blog comments powered by Disqus