Agenda Item # 10
Meeting Date July 31, 2006
Regular Session Prepared By Barbara B. Matthews
Discussion Item Resolution authorizing the City Manager to execute a revised contract for legal
services, adjusting the hourly rate
Background On February 24, 2006, the City Council received a memo from City Attorney Susan
Silber, requesting an increase in the hourly rate from $125.00 to $150.00. The City
Manager and the City Attorney agreed to defer any discussion of this matter until the
FY07 budget process.
To assist the City Council in considering the City Attorney’s request, staff contacted
several municipalities in February 2006 to gather comparative data regarding the cost
of legal services. The following is a summary of the information obtained by the
• City of Bowie $135 per hour
• City of Greenbelt $150 per hour
• City of College Park $135 per hour
• City of New Carrollton $175 per hour
The City of Bowie indicated at that time that that its hourly billing rate was expected
to increase by $10 per hour for FY07.
In late 2004, the Town of Somerset conducted a survey of several municipalities in
Montgomery County regarding the rate paid for legal services. Attached is a copy of
the survey results that were distributed to the City Council in January 2005.
As the City Council was previously advised, the City Manager’s proposed budget for
FY07 legal services was predicated on a revised hourly rate of $150. In making this
recommendation, the City Manager took into account that the hourly rate paid by the
City has not been modified since 2001 and that the requested rate of $150 is
comparable or less than that paid by other municipalities in the area. The City
Council did not modify the City Manager’s proposed budget for legal services.
With the exception of the hourly rate, all contract terms would remain the same.
Policy The City Council desires to fairly compensate its contractors, including legal
Fiscal Impact The hourly rate paid by the City for legal services would increase from $125 to $150.
The FY07 budget for legal services was predicated on the higher hourly rate.
Attachments Proposed resolution authorizing the City Manager to execute a revised contract for
legal services, adjusting the hourly rate
Recommendation Staff recommends that the City Council adopt the proposed resolution, authorizing
the City Manager to sign a revised contract with Silber & Perlman, P.A. to reflect an
hourly rate for legal services of $150 effective July 1, 2006.
Introduced By: Resolution Date:
CITY OF TAKOMA PARK
RESOLUTION NO. 2006-___
Authorizing an Increase in the Hourly Rate
Paid by the City to Silber & Perlman, P.A. for Legal Services
WHEREAS, the City of Takoma Park has an ongoing contract with Susan Silber and the law
firm of Silber & Perlman, P.A. for the provision of legal services to the City as its City Attorney; and,
WHEREAS, the City Attorney bills the City for legal services on an hourly basis; and,
WHEREAS, the present hourly rate of $125 for the City Attorney’s legal services has remained
unchanged since 2001; and,
WHEREAS, the aforementioned hourly rate is well below the rate paid to municipal attorneys
by municipalities in the metropolitan area, as determined by a survey of City Attorney rates conducted
by City staff in February 2006 and by a survey of Town Attorney rates conducted by the Mayor of
Somerset in December 2004; and,
WHEREAS, the current hourly rate of $125 paid by the City to Silber & Perlman, P.A. is also
substantially below the market rate for attorney services in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area;
WHEREAS, the City Attorney has asked the City Council to approve an increase to $150 per
hour for legal services provided Silber & Perlman, P.A.; and,
WHEREAS, the City Manager believes that the request of the City Attorney is reasonable and
WHEREAS, the City Council recently conducted a performance evaluation and is satisfied
with the City Attorney’s performance; and,
WHEREAS, the City Council desires to fairly compensate City contractors for their services.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF TAKOMA
PARK, MARYLAND THAT the hourly rate paid by the City to Susan Silber and the law firm of
Silber & Perlman, P.A. for legal services shall be increased to $150 per hour, effective July 1, 2006.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT the City Manager is authorized to execute a new
contract with Susan Silber and the law firm of Silber & Perlman, P.A., to serve as City Attorney for the
City of Takoma Park, increasing the hourly rate for legal services to $150 per hour.
THIS RESOLUTION IS ADOPTED THIS _____ DAY OF ____________, 2006.