City Attorney

City of Cottonwood, Arizona | Full-time

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The Position

Appointed by the Mayor and City Council, the City Attorney is responsible and held accountable for the City of Cottonwood’s legal department. As the primary legal counsel, the City Attorney advises the Council, City Manager, Boards and Commissions, and City staff on legal matters and represents the City as necessary and appropriate. The position provides sound legal advice on significant policy, project, and financial matters, attends all regular City Council meetings, and drafts or reviews ordinances, orders, and resolutions that come before the City Council. The City Attorney is an integral part of the City’s management team and works closely with the City Manager and collaborates with key staff across all departments to provide legal advice and ensure projects are completed in a timely and responsible manner. Currently, the City Attorney directly oversees a contracted City Prosecutor and has no City staff falling directly under their purview. The current Attorney is retiring after serving the city for over twenty years.

Priorities

  • Develop and maintain positive relationships with the Mayor and City Council. Establish trust, ensure effective communication, and proactively provide sound legal advice.
  • Effectively partner with the City Manager and develop strong working relationships with department directors to understand operational issues that may have legal implications and where departments may need legal assistance.
  • Develop an understanding of our organization, become familiar with our strategic plan, and ensure alignment with the City’s vision and strategic initiatives.
  • Quickly come up to speed on all legal aspects of current projects and initiatives. Collaborate across the organization to support housing needs and the completion of our new City Hall.

The Successful Candidate

The City Attorney fully embraces the City’s mission of Inspiring a Vibrant Community and believes in the notion of being accountable in service to others while executing their duties as an Attorney. The successful candidate is apolitical yet politically astute, with a strong history of developing effective relationships with the Mayor and City Council to provide sound legal advice and interpretation to balance the City’s small-town identity with its desire for sustainable growth. With unquestioned integrity and sound ethics, the City Attorney is considered a thought partner and works in the best interest of the City at all times.

The City Attorney has substantial local government law experience and leverages that knowledge to anticipate issues and proactively mitigate risk. The ideal candidate is thoughtful with a proven track record in developing strategies for legally sound positions. Considered an active listener, the successful candidate is an effective communicator and promotes clear and concise communication to reduce ambiguity. A confident leader, the City Attorney navigates controversial issues with ease while still providing sound legal advice to advance City Council goals and initiatives.

A collaborative leader with demonstrated success in maintaining positive relationships internally and with intergovernmental partners and other stakeholders, the successful candidate creates an environment of trust and reliability. The City Attorney effectively engages in processes that enhance the productivity of the organization and creatively solves problems while aligning decisions to the City’s core values and mission. Considered a generalist, the City Attorney assists in all aspects of the legal needs of the organization and is actively invested in the success of both the organization and the community as a whole.

The ideal candidate calls Cottonwood home yet enjoys the opportunity for limited telework when necessary. The City Attorney is a contributing member to the community and appreciates the City’s history while helping the organization move forward with its structured future growth.

Qualifications

A minimum of five years in the practice of municipal law, ideally with a successful track record as a City Attorney, Deputy City Attorney, or experience in a private law firm advising municipal governments with a full range of municipal services.

A Juris Doctor degree from a school of law accredited by the American Bar Association or an equivalent combination of education and professional legal experience to meet the position requirements. Must be licensed to practice law in the State of Arizona and be in good standing with the Arizona State Bar Association or licensed in a state with reciprocal admission with the ability to be admitted to the Arizona State Bar by motion.

Inside The Organization

The City of Cottonwood is focused on providing excellent customer service to the citizens and businesses of its vibrant, small-town community. Our highly motivated staff is dedicated to creating an inviting, sustainable, connected community through its positive work environment and citizen, Council, and employee engagement. Led by the City Manager, the hardworking and energetic team prides itself on continually working towards a culture of progressive learning, staff mentorship and development, positivity, and innovation.

Cottonwood was incorporated in 1960 and operates under the council-manager form of government. The Council is a seven-member body consisting of a Mayor, Vice Mayor, and five Council members elected to serve staggered four-year terms. The Mayor is directly elected while the Vice Mayor is appointed by the City Council.

The City provides a variety of services to the community through the following departments: Administration, Airport, Community Development, Cottonwood Area Transit, Economic Development, Finance, Fire, Human Resources, Information Technology, Library, Parks and Recreation, Police, Public Works, Purchasing, and Utilities. Cottonwood employs over 200 full-time employees with an FY2023 budget of $92.2 million.

MISSION STATEMENT

Inspiring a Vibrant Community 

VISION STATEMENT 

The City of Cottonwood strives to maintain a uniquely desirable and sustainable community. 

We are unique because of our people, our grand natural resources, public amenities, leadership, diversity, and our hometown atmosphere. 

We will continue to conserve, preserve, and manage our precious resources, including the Verde River and its unique riparian habitat. 

We will enhance our position as the economic center for the Verde Valley, providing retail, medical, education, transportation, recreation, and tourism. 

The City of Cottonwood provides leadership and solutions to ensure a prosperous community where a diversity of people and nature thrive. 

STRATEGIC INITIATIVES

  • Foster Sustainable Growth and Development
  • Ensure Our Quality of Life
  • Lead with Environmental Stewardship
  • Improve our Infrastructure
  • Embrace Financial Accountability and Transparency

The Community

Cottonwood, the “Heart of Arizona Wine Country,” is a beautiful and diverse community surrounded by enticing attractions, historic sites, and unlimited opportunities for outdoor recreation. Located in central Arizona, the City is ideally situated above the heat of the desert and below the cooler temperatures of Arizona’s high country. Surrounded by the red rocks of Sedona to the northeast and Mingus Mountain to the southwest, its lower elevation makes it a perfect spot for any adventure.

The City serves as the retail and service center for the greater Verde Valley. It hosts a vibrant downtown area, known as Old Town Cottonwood, with a variety of dining options and wine-tasting rooms, antique stores, art galleries, and many other small businesses. The sunny, mild temperatures and proximity to nearby attractions like the Grand Canyon, Sedona, Dead Horse Ranch State Park, Tuzigoot National Monument, and the historic mining communities of Clarkdale and Jerome attract a steady number of tourists year-round. 

The majority of the youth in the area attend Cottonwood-Oak Creek School District and Mingus Union High School District which collectively provide four K-8 schools and one high school. The City is proud to host the Verde Valley Medical Center campus which provides medical, clinical, and laboratory services to the local area. The main industries within the City consist of tourism, government services, retail, education, and health services.

Quick Facts

  • Population: 12,180
  • Median Household Income: $48,829
  • Median Home Value: $351,161
  • Median Age: 32.23

All demographic information was sourced from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Compensation and Benefits

The City Attorney contract is at the direction of the City Council with a salary range of $124,032 - $186,048 and will depend on the qualifications of the successful candidate. The City of Cottonwood offers an excellent benefits package. Learn more about our options and employee-based benefits here.

How to Apply

Applications will be accepted electronically by Raftelis. Applicants complete a brief online form and are prompted to provide a cover letter and resume. The position is open until filled with the first review of applications beginning February 27, 2023.

Questions

For more information or questions regarding the City of Cottonwood or the City Attorney position, please contact Heather Gantz at hgantz@raftelis.com.

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