204 E. Cook Street
Santa Maria, CA 93454
Hours of Operation: Monday through Thursday 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., 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.
2019-20 Goals and Objectives
- Perform a comprehensive review of City contracts, and revise templates and processes to align with best practices for procurement, performance, and reduction of liability.
- Collaborate with stakeholders to complete the update of an enforceable model lease for mobile home parks and residents, as a mutually agreeable model that homeowners and park owners can use.
- Aggressively investigate and prosecute known “slumlords” who maintain properties in substandard conditions. These properties are a nuisance which endangers the health and safety of the occupants and contributes to the deterioration of our community.
- Develop and present an ordinance regulating rentable scooters for City Council consideration, to create a framework for applications, and to balance transportation options with safety for riders and the public.
- Develop and present an ordinance regulating mobile signage for City Council consideration, which may include a comprehensive ban or limitations on illumination and hours of display, and which comply with regulations found in the vehicle code when in use on public roadways.
- Develop and present an ordinance further regulating mobile car washes for City Council consideration, to prevent contaminated water from reaching the environment.
- Develop and bring to Council a vaping and flavored tobacco ordinance, intended to require retailers to comply with all state and federal statutes, with specific regulations to limit availability to and reduce use among local youth and teens.
- Bring to the City Council a revised Code Compliance Plan, articulating the Council priorities for proactive Code Enforcement, which particularly will include partnering with businesses, property owners, members of the community, non-profit organizations, and other City personnel such as City Rangers and the Community Service Unit of the Police Department, to address homelessness and its Citywide impacts.
- In litigation matters, resolve a majority of cases without any payment to plaintiffs through voluntary dismissal, motion practice, or trial.
- Expand the Code Compliance Award program to include residential property owners who improve their properties from “Blight to Beautiful” to recognize contributions to help neighborhood preservation and quality of life.
*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.