Interim counsel appointed
RIVERSIDE—The city council appointed Meardon, Sueppel, and Downer P.L.C. law firm from Iowa City on an interim basis to represent them at their city council meeting on Friday, Aug. 23. The decision to appoint an interim law firm came because their current city attorney Leslie Lamping is planning to resign.
“I did speak to Les this afternoon,” said city deputy clerk Lory Young. “He said we should have his letter in the next 30 days. He also said that he probably will not be finishing anything that he already has.”
Mayor Bill Poch said this leaves the city with the need to seek representation right away. There were several items the city needs Lamping to work on that haven’t been settled.
One of those things the city needs done is the easements with property owners on Highway 22 for stormwater drainage ditch work, said city administrator Rusty Rogerson.
Young said she contacted three law firms who had shown interest in representing the city before. Of the three, one said no, and another said maybe. Sueppel’s firm was the only one that gave Young a definite yes when asked if they were still interested in representing the city.
Rogerson said the firm teaches municipal law at the University of Iowa law school. He said they also have done workshops with the League of Cities that both he and Young have attended.
Poch said he thought this law firm would be a good choice because Bill Sueppel Sr. had represented the Iowa League of Cities for years. He said the experience the law firm has with municipality law speaks for the job they would do for Riverside.
Councilor Ralph Schnoebelen said he liked the law firm Sueppel was from because there are several other cities the firm represents in the local area. He also said he thought they would be best for the job.
“At this point of time it isn’t a matter of what it’s going to cost us,” Schnoebelen said. “It’s a matter of who can do the best job, and that’s what I’m looking at, and that’s what I’ve looked at in the past.”
Councilor Nate Kasdorf agreed with Schnoebelen and Poch about the experience the firm has. He did have a concern when appointing that firm.
“When this comes to narrowing it down I want to make sure we have somebody that will be available to be at council meetings, when we have our council meetings” Kasdorf said, “and not be in Lone Tree, Coralville, North Liberty, or whereever else.”
Young said once a firm is appointed any one of the lawyers in the firm could attend the city council meetings and give the city legal advice.
A motion was made to have the Meardon, Sueppel, and Downer P.L.C. law firm as the city’s interim council.
The motion was approved unaminously.
The next city council will be held on Tuesday, Sept. 3 at 6:30 p.m.