The Glen Rose City Council has a decision to make.
Current City Attorney Andrew Lucas' days of serving Glen Rose are numbered. Lucas, who has been representing the city for about a decade, is moving on to a bigger office.
Lucas ran unopposed for the office of county attorney in Tuesday's election, and hours early, the council heard from two Dallas/Fort Worth law firms interesting in filling his shoes.
The city compensates Lucas at a rate of about $20,000 annually, according to City Administrator Ken West, who said he does not believe the city's cost should increase drastically despite proposed rates of as much as $600 or more per meeting.
Robert Brown, managing partner with Richardson-based Brown & Hofmeister, L.L.P, said his firm specializes in representing cities, their employees and elected officials and other governmental entities.
Brown said he would be willing to attend regular council meetings. The firm also relies on digital communication such as video conferencing and Skype in an effort to save clients time and money, and partners and junior associates would be available to answer questions at all times.
Following a question by council member Sandra Ramsay, Brown said the city would not be charged when the firm monitors a meeting remotely, only when attorneys are engaged in discussion or working on legal matters. He also said the firm implements a flat fee system rather than charging on an hourly basis, and the lesser associate rate would be used whenever lower level attorneys could provide assistance.
Wayne Olson and Tim Sralla, founding partners of Taylor, Olson, Adkins, Sralla, Elma L.L.P, also addressed the council.
Olson said he has 33 years of experience representing cities, and the firm employees an estimated 20 attorneys representing more than 30 cities, many which are long-standing clients.
Sralla said he has been practicing attorney since 1983 focusing on municipalities for more than a decade.
Unlike Brown, the partners said they charge an hourly fee and also charge for travel time, but fees could be adjusted if they were making frequent trips to Glen Rose.
They also said the firm is not currently set up for digital conferencing, but they would be willing to establish a teleconferencing services with the city.
The city is currently not set up for teleconferencing, but council members expressed interest in establishing such a system since they will no longer have the benefit of a local attorney attending regular meetings.
Lucas suggested the city consider requesting a potential scheduling change for municipal court to fewer sessions with longer dockets.
The issue was tabled until the December meeting, allowing council members more time to weight their options.
It will also be the last meeting for Lucas, who will be sworn into his county office in January.