City Attorney
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Douglas Sloan, City Attorney
2600 Fresno Street
Room 2031
Fresno, CA 93721
(559) 621-7500
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The City Attorney's Office represents and advises the Mayor, City Council, City boards and commissions, and City officials and departments in legal matters pertaining to their office and City operations, which include municipal utilities, airports, and public transportation systems.

The City Attorney's Office prepares legal opinions, ordinances, resolutions, contracts, and other documents requested by the Council and City organizations; implements the legal aspects of policies and programs established by the City; handles criminal prosecution as part of the Office's code enforcement responsibilities; serves as counsel for the Successor Agency to the Redevelopment Agency; defends the City in civil litigation; and monitors cases assigned to contract legal counsel.

Legal Resources

City Codes State Law
City Charter California Constitution
Municipal Code California Statutes
Development Code Public Records Act
Council Rules of Procedure Political Reform Act
FY 16 Salary Resolution  
Administrative Orders  

Policies - Policies are resolutions adopted by the City Council that provide for legal structure, limitations, and organization of the City.

Asset Management Act
Purpose: To create a comprehensive strategy for City real estate assets and develop and efficient management model of City real property assets on a long-term basis.
Affected Departments: Public Works, City Manager
Relevant Reporting Dates: None

Better Business Act
Purpose: Provide for uniform due diligence and oversight on private projects seeking City financial assistance of more than $1 million.
Affected Departments: City Manager, City Attorney
Relevant Dates/Events: Annual report by City Manager (in conjunction with the City Attorney’s Office) on status and progress of all private sector projects receiving more than $1 million in City assistance.

Concealed Weapons Act
Purpose: To support issuance of concealed weapons permits by the Chief of Police consistent with the procedures set forth in the Penal Code.
Affected Departments: Police
Relevant Reporting Dates: None

Construction Management Act
Purpose: To provide policies and practices to improve City construction planning and management for both General Fund and Enterprise Capital Projects, with more focus on those exceeding $10 million.
Affected Departments: Finance, Public Works, City Manager
Relevant Reporting Dates: City Manager shall provide annual audit of projects exceeding $10 million, annual inventory of all City owned and leased facilities, and annual update of long-term facilities plan.

Council Code of Conduct
Purpose: To increase public confidence in City government, assist Councilmembers with decision-making, and encourage high standards of behavior by Councilmembers
Affected Departments: Council Offices, City Manager, Mayor’s Office, City Attorney
Relevant Reporting Dates: None

Council Communication Policy
Purpose: To allow Councilmembers, the Mayor, City Manager, and City staff to communicate with the City Attorney openly regarding legal matters that may ultimately come before Council and allow the City Attorney discretion regarding sharing of such information and on when it is shared with the full Council.
Affected Departments: Council Offices, Mayor’s Office, City Attorney’s Office, City Manager and all City Departments
Relevant Reporting Dates: None

Council Management and Transparency Policy for City Attorney’s Office
Purpose: To set forth financial and administrative reporting requirements for the City Attorney’s Office.
Affected Departments: City Attorney’s Office
Relevant Reporting Dates: April (annually) – provide annual City Attorney’s report. Quarterly – provide service and litigation log.

Council Orientation Act
Purpose: To better prepare incoming Council members for service through a carefully constructed curriculum of workshops, meetings with department heads, meetings with other agencies that work closely with the City, and site visits to City facilities.
Affected Departments: Council Offices
Relevant Reporting Dates: None

Council Residency Act
Purpose: Provide criteria for establishing residency of Councilmembers and Council candidates.
Affected Departments: Council Offices, City Clerk
Relevant Reporting Dates: Between December 1 and December 31 of each year, Councilmembers must submit required documentation to City Clerk.

Enterprise Accountability and Oversight Act
Purpose: To improve the management of enterprise department capital projects in the City.
Affected Departments: City Manager, Public Utilities, Airports, FAX, Convention Center
Relevant Reporting Dates: City Manager shall provide semi-annual progress reports to the Council on enterprise capital projects valued in excess of $1 million.

Fiscal Sustainability Policy
Purpose: To address short-term and long-term budget challenges.
Affected Departments: City Manager, Personnel, Budget, Finance, Retirement
Relevant Reporting Dates: None

Infill Development Act
Purpose: To provide policy guidelines to successfully implement infill development.
Affected Departments: City Manager, Development and Resource Management, Public Works
Relevant Reporting Dates: Annually – update inventory of vacant land and underutilized property.

Labor Management Act
Purpose: Establish a policy to standardize and reinforce best practices for labor management policies for the City of Fresno, and to improve fiscal accountability and transparency in City government.
Affected Departments: Personnel, City Manager, Retirement, City Attorney
Relevant Reporting Dates: July (annually) – City Manager to present Annual Labor Relations Report. Fiscal Impact Report to be provided to City Council along with any new/successor MOU approval requests. Any changes or side letters affecting existing MOUs having a fiscal impact on the budget requires City Council approval, with City Manager to present a detailed analysis including the net fiscal impact.

Litigation Management Act
Purpose: To develop policies and best practices that ensure efficient management and handling of litigation cases with the intent of reducing litigation expenses for the City.
Affected Departments: City Attorney’s Office, Personnel/Risk Management
Relevant Reporting Dates: (Same as Council Management and Transparency Policy for City Attorney’s Office.) April (annually) – provide annual City Attorney’s report. Quarterly – provide service and litigation log.

Redevelopment Improvement Act
Purpose: To set forth administrative policies and procedures for evaluation and oversight of private sector proposals requesting more than $1 million in Agency financial assistance.
Affected Departments: Successor Agency, City as Housing Successor to the former Redevelopment Agency
Relevant Reporting Dates: None

Reserve Management Act
Purpose: Develop reasonable, comprehensive, fund balance/reserve management policies for the City and to comply with Government Accounting Standards Board Statement No. 54, Fund Balance Reporting and Governmental Fund Type Definitions.
Affected Departments: Finance, Budget, Public Utilities, Development and Resource Management, Personnel/Risk Management, General Services Department, Information Services Department, Public Works, Retirement
Relevant Reporting Dates: August (annually) – Controller shall prepare comprehensive report on City’s fund balance reserve types as of the prior June 30. Every five years – City Manager to make recommendations to Council regarding fund balance reserve policies during annual budget hearings.

School Liaison Act
Purpose: To improve communications between the City and school governing boards and to promote coordination and cooperation.
Affected Departments: Council Offices, Mayor’s Office, City Manager, Development and Resource Management, Public Works, FAX, Police, Fire, Parks, City Attorney
Relevant Reporting Dates: Annually or as-needed, Subcommittee Chairperson shall report results of subcommittee meetings to Council. Annual joint meeting with school boards.

Streetlight Funding Act
Purpose: To identify funding sources, policy priority, and implementation of a proactive citywide streetlight theft deterrent concrete encasement program.
Affected Departments: Budget, Public Works
Relevant Reporting Dates: None

Taxpayer Protection Act
Purpose: Establish and maintain effective debt management of the City’s financial resources.
Affected Departments: Finance, Budget
Relevant Reporting Dates: Controller shall annually prepare a Comprehensive Annual Debt Report and present to Council following completion of the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) and preferably before Mayor’s submission of proposed budget.

Transparency in City Government Act
Purpose: To improve transparency in City government by providing disclosure of City employees’, elected officials’, and professional consultants’ compensation. Also prohibits bonuses and regulates employment contracts for non-represented officials and employees.
Affected Departments: Personnel, City Manager, City Attorney, Budget
Relevant Reporting Dates: By June 1 annually (when Mayor’s proposed budget provided to Council) – Annual Employee/Official Compensation Disclosure Reports to be published and made available to Council, as pre-condition of approving annual City budget. The Consultant Disclosure Report and the executive employee/elected official salary comparison to comparable cities matrixes also to be provided by June 1 annually (when Mayor’s proposed budget provided to Council). During the annual budget presentation hearings, City Manager to make a presentation to Council and provide a written report outlining all of the reporting required by the Act.

Water Conservation Act

Purpose: Develop policies and practices that will conserve water usage by all City water customers and provide better overall management of City water resources.
Affected Departments: Public Utilities
Relevant Reporting Dates: None

Legal Memos


Other Legal Issues