204 E. Cook Street
Santa Maria, CA 93454
Hours of Operation: Monday through Thursday 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. by appointment only, closed Fridays.
The City Attorney's Office provides a wide range of legal services for the City Council, City boards and commissions, and operating departments. Major activities include: day-to-day legal advice for City officials and employees; drafting contracts, opinions, resolutions and ordinances; defending the City, its officers and employees in civil litigation; coordinating and monitoring the investigation, settlement, and litigation arising out of personal injury claims; defending minor personal injury suits against the City; handling minor collection cases in the City's behalf; providing staff support to the City's administrative code enforcement program; prosecuting criminal and civil violations of the City's Municipal Code; representing the City in discovery matters initiated by third parties; representing the Successor Agency; negotiating civil settlements, franchises, and agreements on behalf of the City; assisting in Municipal Code updates; maintaining a law library; performing liaison activities with media and the local bar; and networking with other cities through the League of California Cities.
THOMAS T. WATSON
City Attorney's Office
204 E. Cook Street
Santa Maria, CA 93454
Phone: (805) 925-0951 ext. 2310
City Fax: (805) 928-1275
DESCRIPTION OF RESPONSIBILITIES:
Manage the legal and code enforcement divisions of the City. Manage the litigation and claims filed against and by the City. Give day-to-day advice to City officials and employees. Draft ordinances, rules, resolutions, contracts, and policies.
To provide effective representation in the public interest.
2020-21 Goals and Objectives
- Complete commencement of the City’s tobacco retailer licensing program and prohibition on flavored tobacco. The City Attorney’s Office and Code Enforcement Division will continue to engage in public outreach and education with retailers to reduce tobacco use (particularly, flavored tobacco use) by local youth and will initiate a comprehensive inspection and enforcement program.
- Pursue red light abatement actions as necessary to eliminate illegal prostitution activities that negatively impact the community from occurring at massage establishments.
- Collaborate with the departments to update standard forms, contracts, and conditions contained in permit approvals to reduce the City’s exposure to liability and to support the efficient and timely processing of development permits.
- Present a revised business license section of the Municipal Code for Council consideration to facilitate the Council’s goal of streamlining business permits.
- Initiate a multi-year comprehensive review of the Municipal Code to eliminate outdated and superseded code sections, improve enforceability, and align with current City practices and procedures.
- Pursue Code Enforcement Officer training and certification in the International Property Management Code (“IPMC”) and begin enforcement of the recently adopted IPMC portion of Municipal Code. Implementation of the IPMC will assist our Code Enforcement Officers in reducing blight within the City.
- Continue to aggressively investigate and prosecute known “slumlords” who maintain properties in substandard conditions. These properties are a nuisance that endangers the health and safety of their occupants and contributes to the deterioration of our community.
- Analyze and improve current data collection and procedures in the Code Enforcement Division to develop streamlined approaches, improve efficiency, and better service to our residents.
- Continue to transition the Weed Abatement Program to the Code Enforcement Division. This program was previously administered through the Department of Public Works. The transfer of the program to the Code Enforcement Division is intended to maximize compliance efforts and increase efficiency.
- Conduct and administer quarterly outreach “Walk-n-Talks” to speak with the residents and businesses in neighborhoods throughout the City about Municipal Code compliance, to gain compliance through education rather than citations, to provide tools to residents for the preservation of property values, and hear the needs of our populace.
*The City Attorney is an appointed officer identified in Government Code Section 87200 and files statements of economic interests with the City Clerk's office. Copies of the Statements of Economic Interests filed by the City Attorney may be obtained by visiting the offices of the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) or the City Clerk. The physical address of the FPPC is 428 J Street, Suite 620, Sacramento, California 95814. The physical address of the City Clerk's office is 110 E. Cook Street, Room 3, Santa Maria, CA 93454. The Statements of Economic Interests (Form 700) for some State and local government agency elected officers may be available in electronic format on the FPPC's website at http://www.fppc.ca.gov.