By Rita Cook / The Ellis County Press
FERRIS – At the city council meeting in Ferris last week council voted yes to begin a search to hire a new law firm for the city.
While Ferris City Manager Bill Jordan said it was just time to see what else was out there, he added “our current attorney can certainly submit a packet.”
The packet he is referring to is the Requests for Qualifications opening up a bid process where all interested law firms can apply. The Ferris City Attorney is a contract position.
Jordan said it is the council’s intent to look for the best services at the most affordable cost to the city.
“We have not shopped for an attorney in several years,” Jordan said. “It is in the best interest of the city to do just that.”
In a unanimous vote to call for bids Jordan added “There was not necessarily a long debate over whether to make any change. The council did discuss looking at our current contract for legal representation compared to other proposals.”
The City of Ferris has used the services of Brown & Hofmeister as legal representation for the city since 2008.
Jordan said overall the city will find a cost-effective contract that will provide a higher level of guidance.
“For example, having our attorney present at our council meetings would ensure proper order and procedure,” Jordan added.
For now the City has not terminated the agreement with the current attorney. Before doing that the city must solicit for qualifications and then prepare an RFQ, which is similar to a bid, Jordan explained.
“We need to focus on whether the respondent can meet the needs of the city instead of cost,” Jordan added.
With no set date to hire a new attorney or perhaps even keep the one currently working for the city, Jordan stressed it is still in the early stages.
“We currently are represented by Brown & Hofmeister LLP. Working through a firm allows Ferris to have at their disposal a team of lawyers whose focus is in municipal law,” Jordan concluded. “With the upcoming RFQ we intend to maintain this type of arrangement with whichever firm that is ultimately chosen.”