Langley workshop may cover legal work

Langley officials are considering holding a workshop next week, and a potential topic of discussion includes the formation of a panel to review applicants for the job of city attorney.

The city is currently accepting new proposals for city legal services through Jan. 13.

At their meeting last week, city council members unanimously approved the plan to issue a request for proposals to find a new city attorney.

The current contract with Snohomish-based law firm Weed, Graafstra & Benson, Inc. is expiring at the end of the year, and the firm’s performance under the contract has drawn concern over the past two years. Most recently, news reports have recounted that the city’s lawyers failed to review more than 15 ordinances that were approved by the city council.

City officials have previously raised concerns about mounting legal fees from Weed, Graafstra & Benson and the lawyers handling of the mayor’s salary and Langley Passage controversies.

According to the initial plan set out by the city, new proposals for city legal services will be accepted through

Jan. 13, and candidates for the city attorney position are expected to be interviewed in late January. The council would vote on the new hire on Feb. 6, with the expected start date for the city attorney no later than March 1.

Mayor-Elect Larry Kwarsick has proposed a special workshop for Wednesday, Jan. 4 at city hall. Topics include the formation of a legal services review panel, and also the management of the legal services budget.