By Roger Utnehmer
Sturgeon Bay City Administrator Josh VanLieshout told council members Tuesday it could cost as much as $143,000 a year to replace the Pinkert Law firm as city legal counsel.
VanLieshout shared estimated costs of hiring a full-time attorney to represent the city. He compared the position to that of a corporation counsel or assistant corporation counsel with a mid-range salary of $96,000 a year. He estimated health coverage, retirement benefits, professional memberships and fees, and other costs to total $143,000 annually.
The Pinkert firm resigned as legal counsel to the City of Sturgeon Bay earlier this year.
Council members have asked VanLieshout to gather data on options that include hiring a full-time city attorney or contracting for specific services with individual lawyers or firms. Total city legal expenses estimated by VanLieshout to be between $56,000 and $76,000 a year were significantly lower than what Council Member David Hayes says he was told they were by former city finance director Val Clarizio. Hayes indicated that Clarizio estimated legal fees to be approximately $110,000 a year for both 2016 and 2017.
Options for replacing the Pinkert firm will be on the agenda for the next council meeting on September 18th.