Mt. CB selects law firm as temporary legal counsel

Community Development director search begins

[  By Kendra Walker  ]

The town of Mt. Crested Butte has new legal counsel. During their January 17 meeting, the town council appointed Lakewood, Colorado-based firm Murray Dahl Beery & Renaud LLP as the town attorney. The firm will serve as the town’s temporary legal counsel until the town council finds and appoints a long-term town attorney to replace former town attorney Kathy Fogo, who resigned at the end of December. 

The firm specializes in providing counsel in the areas of local government, litigation, administrative, land use and development, eminent domain, urban renewal and sales and use tax. Special counsel Joe Rivera of the firm has already been working with the town for legal counsel in the Homestead affordable housing project negotiations this past year when it was put on hold and its recent settlement agreement. 

During an executive session, the town met with representative Gerald Dahl before making the official appointment in regular session.

“I’m delighted to do the work and so are the attorneys at the firm,” said Dahl. “We’re looking forward to working with the town beyond what Joe is doing.”

The town has also issued a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for the services of a municipal attorney or attorneys for a long-term town attorney. According to the town website, the final electronic deadline for RFQ submittal is January 31, and the finalists will be interviewed by town manager Carlos Velado and mayor Nicholas Kempin the week of February 21, with final selection taking place at the March 7 council meeting. 

On another staffing note, the town is searching for a new Community Development director and has posted the position. The council appointed previous director Velado as town manager earlier this month, leaving the position open. 

During the January 17 meeting, Velado shared with the council that the job posting includes language that “housing or housing stipend may be part of the compensation package.” The town owns a three-bedroom, two-bath house at 65 Paradise and Velado asked the council if that location could be a potential housing option for a prospective candidate. “I want to make sure the council feels the appropriate use would be for an upper management type position with the town, since we have an opening,” he said.

The council was open to the possibility, but everyone was in favor of keeping the language fairly open so that the specific housing benefits could be decided during negotiations. “The house is obviously a very valuable asset for town, and we certainly have a spot that we have to fill,” said mayor Kempin. “But I also think it has to be the appropriate situation. It could end up being an odd thing where the person we hire is a single person and maybe the house doesn’t work out to fit that bill. If it’s not a good fit for who we hire I think there’s other things we could do with that house,” he said, giving the example of housing a hospital worker in need of a place to stay temporarily until more suitable housing is found. 

The town is accepting applications for the Community Development director until a qualified pool of candidates is established, and preference will be given to applications received by February 6. 

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