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 compliance 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 compliance 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.
- Continue to proactively investigate and prosecute known “slumlords” with nuisance properties evidencing uninhabitable conditions blighting the community, to reduce health and safety violations and other substandard living conditions that affect numerous tenants.
- Conduct community meetings and consult with stakeholders and the Community Development Department concerning H-2A housing, and prepare and present an ordinance for the City Council’s consideration to regulate H-2A housing in residential zoning districts.
- Perform periodic inspections of massage businesses in the City to facilitate compliance with operational requirements, and complete implementation of registration and other administrative requirements of the City’s massage business ordinance.
- Work collaboratively with the Community Development Department to streamline the shopping cart containment plan submission and review process for businesses that have been found to be in violation of the City’s shopping cart containment ordinance.
- Continue to identify and develop strategies to address homelessness in the downtown area, by collaborating with business and property owners, members of the community, non-profit organizations, and other City personnel such as City Rangers and Community Policing Unit.
- Continue education of neighborhood residents regarding the importance of community pride and quality of life issues through “Walk and Talk” programs, in both residential and commercial districts.
- Continue the award program honoring property owners who improve and beautify properties that were once nuisance properties.
- Continue attendance at community outreach events and participate in media opportunities to educate residents about the City’s Municipal Codes, especially the Property Nuisance Ordinance, in an effort to reduce complaints and improve the quality of life.
- Continue supporting City departments in achieving City Council’s priorities by giving sound legal advice and assisting staff in formulating feasible solutions.
- Continue to provide periodic updates regarding civil litigation, Code Compliance, and criminal prosecution to the City Manager and City Council in an ongoing effort to keep them informed about developing issues and activities in these areas.
*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.