After hearing from three law firms during its workshop July 8, the Prairie City City Council selected Brick Gentry and Associates as the newest city attorney. The council unanimously approved the firm during its regular meeting July 15.
Along with Brick Gentry, Caldwell, Brierly and Chalupa Attorneys and Ahlers Cooney Attorneys each spoke with the council, explaining their services and answering questions more specific to Prairie City’s needs.
“I went back today and looked through the info and notes I took and at the fees. Essentially, we have Brick, Ahlers and Caldwell. If I start backwards, Caldwell, we’ve had a good relationship, they used to be our city attorney at one point. Their fees are right in the middle. The thing that struck me is they are still a small firm and two fairly new people working with them in the firm. I think that they have great experience if all we ever have to worry about here is nuisance properties but if we have other issues I think one of the other two firms might have more depth,” councilwoman Diane Taylor said.
Taylor laid out the fees charged by the two remaining firms and found that Brick was the more affordable option.
“Brick has got Ahlers beat. One was $240 an hour, another $235 and with Brick their partners are $300 and associates $200 but the fee that we would be charged is $150 and $75 per use of their paralegal and law clerks,” Taylor said.
With that, the council decided Brick Gentry and its team off lawyers would be best to serve the city in a variety of manners, should they come up. The council also approved a termination of contract with the current city attorney, Stuyvesnt, Benton and Judisch, giving a 30 day notice. Judisch had previously removed his name from contention for the position.
“Our firm really does enjoy municipal work. We are a business firm, a city firm and we also do a lot of medical work with doctors and clinics. The only group that we give any discounts to are municipalities,” Matthew Brick said. “It is just generally interesting work and I don’t know you all but I’m going to give a compliment. We generally find that in local government that people are involved for the right reasons, so it is nice working with a group of people who are trying to do the right thing. On the whole we enjoy working with elected officials.”
In other business:
After going into closed session, the council decided to repost the open city clerk position through Aug. 7.
Contact Jamee A. Pierson at 641-792-3121 ext. 6534 or email@example.com