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City Attorney- Code Enforcement

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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.

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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_WatsonTHOMAS T. WATSON

City Attorney

City Attorney's Office
204 E. Cook Street
Santa Maria, CA 93454
Phone: (805) 925-0951 ext. 2310
City Fax: (805) 928-1275

 E-mail: twatson@cityofsantamaria.org

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.  

 

MISSION STATEMENT

To provide effective representation in the public interest.

2021-22 Goals and Objectives 

  1. Collaborate with other departments in bringing a recommendation to the City Council, designed to strengthen the fiscal solvency of the Landscape Maintenance Districts.
  2. Revitalize outreach efforts by conducting at least three of the bilingual “Walk and Talk” programs to educate residential and business communities about Municipal Codes about neighborhood preservation and property values.
  3. Develop and present an Ordinance on Street Trees to reduce City liability.
  4. Execute red light abatement actions as necessary to eliminate illegal prostitution activities from occurring at massage establishments.
  5. Enhance Code Enforcement Officer training and obtain certifications that promote public and officer safety. Trainings may include mold, lead, infestations, building codes, International property Maintenance Codes and officer safety courses.
  6. Streamline the Weed Abatement Program so that property owners are more empowered to maintain their own unimproved lots.
  7. Collaborate with other departments to reduce blight, graffiti and illegal dumping in the residential and business community.
  8. Create and implement a digital file system for the department, to achieve efficiencies.
  9. Reinforce emergency response training for City Attorney’s Office staff and Code Enforcement staff for any future emergency event.
  10. Collaborate with the Community Development Department on the comprehensive update to the General Plan.

City Attorney's Office Organizational Chart


*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