The City of Hermiston is seeking its first in-house City Attorney to replace the previously contracted position, which has been held by the same attorney since 1999. As the incumbent attorney retires, the City of Hermiston is now shifting to a full-time in-house counsel to reflect the community’s continued growth.
The individual filling this position will have a direct and critical role in shaping that growth. The successful candidate must have a ready knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process. The City Attorney engages as a member of the City’s Leadership Team and actively participates in strategic, city-wide discussions. The City Attorney routinely advises city departments on appropriate action for various legal issues, particularly those involving city-wide policies or politically sensitive situations.
This position requires a Doctorate of Jurisprudence from an accredited school of law and a license in good standing to practice law in the State of Oregon, or the ability to obtain such license in a reasonable amount of time. A minimum of five years' experience practicing as legal counsel for a public agency or any satisfactory combination of experience and training that would demonstrate the knowledge, skills and abilities required to perform the essential job functions.
The ideal candidate will be an experienced attorney who has the highest level of integrity, provides exceptional legal advice and interpretation, understands how to carry out public policy passed by the City Council, and has a demonstrated track record in working collaboratively with staff. Our first in-house City Attorney will be knowledgeable in local government law and provide sound and practical advice with the bigger picture in mind of the City’s overall vision. The City Attorney will join a stable and long-tenured staff and work cooperatively with the City Manager in developing creative options to solve complex local government problems grounded in sound legal advice. The City Attorney will be strong enough to stand up to pressure and be undeterred in providing unpopular advice when needed. The ideal candidate will be an exceptional listener, able to succinctly distill complex legal issues, and provide options for overcoming obstacles. The ideal candidate will be decisive, calm, confident, and a skilled negotiator. The City Attorney will be politically astute, apolitical, responsive, tech-savvy, and have excellent prioritization skills. The ideal City Attorney will bring patience, fresh ideas, proven expertise, and a strong sense of ethics to the position.
Hired by the City Council but doing most day to day work in partnership with the City Manager and other city staff, the City Attorney provides sound legal advice to the Council on significant policy, project, litigation, potential conflicts of interest, and financial matters. The City Attorney attends all City Council meetings and drafts, or reviews, ordinances, orders, and resolutions issued by the City and come before the City Council.