FRAMINGHAM – City of Framingham Mayor Charlie Sisitsky has decided to bring the City Solicitor position in house.
The Mayor presented his proposal to the City Council earlier this month.
Presently, the City of Framingham, like the Town of Framingham, uses Petrini & Associates, an outside law firm.
The City of Framingham began advertising for a City Solicitor on May 13. The salary range is $160,920 to $188,000 a year.
Hours would be Monday, Wednesday & Thursday 8:30am to 5 p.m. Tuesday 8:30am to 7 p.m. Friday 8:30am to 2 p.m. Occasional after-hours meetings as requested by the Mayor.
The Mayor has said the Solicitor will need to hire 3-4 additional staff to complete the in-house law office, but he wants to leave those positions not advertised until the solicitor is hired.
“It shall be the City Solicitor’s duty, either personally or by such assistants as may be designated, to perform all services incident to the legal department; to give advice in writing when so requested to the Mayor, to prosecute or defend, as the case may be, all suits or cases to which the municipality may be a party, and to provide other legal support as requested by the mayor or required by ordinance,” according to the job description.
The City Solicitor would:
- Superintends the work of all Law Department staff, including Assistant City Solicitors, paralegals, and outside counsel.
- Meets with and advises the Mayor and other city departments as directed by the Mayor.
- Oversees the Law Department’s active litigation caseload from intake to conclusion before state and federal courts, independent arbitrators, and various administrative agencies, including but not limited to the Civil Service Commission, DLR, MCAD, JLMC, ABCC and DALA.
- Conducts legal research and drafts opinions on the Framingham Home Rule Charter and other legal issues for the Mayor and other city departments as directed by the Mayor.
- Appears before the City Council and its committees, as well as City boards, committees and commissions, as requested by the Mayor.
- Reviews and approves as to legal form on all City contracts.
- Provides legal risk assessment and management in all areas of City operations.
- Provides advice and opinions related to the compliance obligations of the City, its employees and elected officials as required by the Mayor.
- Participates in the negotiation of all labor contracts, as well as grievances and arbitrations, for the City with all city labor unions, as conducted by labor counsel, assistant city solicitors and/or outside counsel.
- Manages claims against the City and seeks collection on claims on behalf of the City, in conjunction with City divisions, departments, boards and commissions.
- Drafts or updates as necessary, ordinances, Home Rule Petitions, resolutions, rules and regulations and policies and procedures.
- Advocates for passage of the City’s state legislative initiatives.
- Interacts and works closely with City division and department heads to advise on legal aspects of City work as directed by the Mayor.
- Prepares and oversees the administration of the legal department’s annual operating budget.
- Serves as the Legal Department’s Records Access Officer in responding to public records requests.
- Upon Request of the Mayor, assists Departments and Boards and Commission in responding to public records appeals to the Supervisor of Public Records and Open Meeting Law Complaints to the Division of Open Government of the Office of Attorney General.
- Serves as the City’s Conflict of Interest Liaison to the State Ethics Commission pursuant to G.L. c. 268A.
- Serves as the City’s official Keeper of Record for all documents in the Law Department.
The City Solicitor shall have strong legal qualifications and shall be especially fitted by education, training and experience to perform the duties of the office.
He or she must be a member in good standing of the Massachusetts Bar and to the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts. Admission the U.S. First Circuit Court of Appeals is desirable but not required.
The job description said the candidates must have a “Juris Doctor degree with more than ten (10) years prior work experience preferably in a municipal law department or municipal law practice; or any equivalent combination of education, training and experience which provides the required knowledge, skills and abilities to perform the essential functions of the job. Must have experience in a fast-paced, high-volume environment, a demonstrated ability to multitask and appropriately prioritize work amongst many high priority items and experience advising executive leadership in complicated situations.”
Candidates should also have:
Knowledge: Thorough working knowledge of relevant city, state and federal laws, regulations, court cases and administrative body decisions relevant to serving the needs of an urban municipality such as Framingham. Working knowledge of municipal organization structure and municipal services. Working knowledge of legislative processes.
Abilities: Excellent abilities in organization, communication, both oral and written, as well as critical analytical and managerial skills. Ability to manage multiple tasks in a detailed and accurate manner. Strong administrator with ability to manage law department budget, oversee/supervise employees and develop, implement and monitor the effectiveness of a wide range of legal services. Ability to work effectively with confidential information. Ability to work effectively with disgruntled employees and members of the public. Ability to interact effectively with government officials at all levels.
Skill: Excellent people skills. Sensitivity to the political dynamics of the City. Effective data processing skills including the application of word processing and spread sheet applications. Excellent listening skills. Must possess necessary computer skills to function in a typical law office environment as well as with software programs regularly used in Framingham city govern.
Interested applicants can apply here: www.framinghamma.gov/jobs