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Altoona seeking to fill solicitor position

The city is looking for a new solicitor.

Dan Stants of Goldstein, Heslop, Steele, Clapper, Oswalt & Smith has served in the post since the retirement of Larry Clapper in January 2018, but is seeking other opportunities within the firm, according to Stants and a city news release.

The city has posted a request for qualifications to locate a replacement with law firms, individual attorneys who would remain in private practice or attorneys who would become city employees potentially under consideration, according to the news release and officials at a recent City Council meeting.

“The process is really about finding the best fit for the mayor, council and city,” City Manager Ken Decker said in the news release.

Based on the city charter, the solicitor is one of three officials appointed by council as a whole, along with the city clerk and city manager.

The time commitment required for his new responsibilities won’t allow him to continue his city responsibilities, Stants said.

Stants did an “excellent job” for the city, said Councilman Dave Butterbaugh.

Mayor Matt Pacifico said in the release that Stants did “a great job.”

He turned around work faster than any solicitor he’s ever worked with, said Decker, a veteran municipal administrator.

Applications for the post are due by Aug. 21.

A copy of the RFQ is on the city website, www.altoonapa.gov.

The RFQ, in its scope of services, quotes the charter: “The City Solicitor shall furnish legal advice to the City Council, to the Manager, and to all boards and commissions concerning any matter or thing arising in connection with the exercise of their official powers or performance of their official duties and, except as otherwise expressly provided by the Council, shall supervise, direct and control all of the law work of the City … shall prepare or approve all contracts, bonds and other instruments, in writing, in which the City is concerned, and shall approve all surety bonds required to be given for the protection of the City.”

The solicitor is also responsible for drawing up ordinances, overseeing collection of taxes, investigating ordinance violations and representing the city before regulatory agencies and other governmental bodies, according to the charter.

Mirror Staff Writer William Kibler is at 949-7038.

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