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Job Announcement: Lassen County – County Counsel

Sunday, October 25th, 2020

Lassen County/County Counsel

About Lassen County:
Wouldn’t you like to live in a rustic mountain range where you can enjoy the freedom of outdoor living? Susanville, CA offers a wide variety of nearby recreational activities just miles away from lakes, rivers, hiking trails and sandy dunes for endless family fun. Located in Northeastern California, Lassen County is the fourth largest county in the state. The only incorporated city in the county is Susanville where a growing community of over 15,000 reside in the scenic upper Honey Lake Valley back dropped with forested mountains of the Northern Sierra and the Southern Cascades.

Lassen County affords unlimited outdoor recreation and sporting activities for residents and visitors alike. Attractions include: trophy trout fishing and water sports at nationally renowned Eagle Lake, the second largest natural lake in California; the scenic Bizz Johnson Trail, a 30 mile long converted rail route between Susanville and Westwood attracts many mountain bikers, hikers, cross country skiers and fly fishing enthusiasts. The pristine meadows and forests of the
Susanville Ranch Regional County park located adjacent to the city that adds to the many miles of outstanding trail opportunities the county offers.

From Susanville, driving to regional destinations is surprisingly easy, since traffic gridlock is not a local way of life. Expanded entertainment, shopping and an international airport in Reno are less than 90 minutes
away. Some of the North Lake Tahoe area ski resorts are within two hours. Driving time to Sacramento is usually under four hours and the Pacific Ocean at
Eureka is about five hours away. Residents of Lassen County enjoy the rural mountain environment, outstanding family oriented recreation opportunities and excellent schools. The cost of living and housing prices are comparatively lower in Lassen County than in most other regions of the state.

The Ideal Candidate:
Lassen County is seeking a dynamic County Counsel who is well-rounded and experienced municipal attorney with strong generalist skills complemented by a passion for public service. With outstanding interpersonal skills and a reputation for decisive leadership, the successful candidate will serve the County’s legal interests by providing expert assistance and counsel while establishing highly effective working relationships with the Board of Supervisors, the County Administrator, and other key staff.

The County Counsel should have unquestioned personal integrity and honesty, maintain confidentiality, and demonstrate a willingness to make difficult decisions and stand by those decisions. With a strong work ethic and an ability to lead by example, the County Counsel will be proactive in identifying issues for the Board of Supervisors and providing alternative courses of action. Working closely with the Board and County Administrator, the County Counsel will set the strategic legal direction on a
wide array of topics, many dealing with land use and planning issues in the community.

Ideally, the County Counsel will have a strong litigation background, complemented by excellent writing and public speaking skills, and the ability to address legal issues with a problem solving approach rather than a regulatory manner. Above all, the ideal candidate will establish instant credibility as an authority on the civil and administrative legal affairs of Lassen County, and all aspects of municipal law. The County Counsel will bring a dynamic mix on analytical and strategic thinking skills, effective interpersonal communications, and a solid background in the broad spectrum of municipal affairs.
Important attributes for County Counsel include:

  • Skill and experience working with elected officials;
  • Relevant expertise with land use and planning, including code enforcement and environmental issues;
  • Experience with employee and labor relations; and
  • Strong interpersonal skills with a focus on fair and equitable treatment in the conduct of municipal affairs.

The Position of County Counsel:
The Office of County Counsel is an in-house department serving the government of Lassen County and, indirectly, the people of the County. This is a department head position with leadership over a staff of two. Having general responsibility for the administration of a major area of County Government under the direction of the Board of Supervisors. Lassen County provides high quality legal advice and services to the Board of Supervisors, County Officers and department heads. This includes: court appearances, legal advice and opinions, preparation and review of legal documents, attending meetings and hearings, handling legal correspondence, and other duties. This is an appointed position and subject to confirmation of the Board of Supervisors.
Responsibilities of the County Counsel are:

  • Serve as the legal advisor on civil matters to all County officers, agencies, departments, and special districts.
  • Represent the County, its officers and employees, in the defense and prosecution of all civil litigation, excluding personal injury;
  • Work directly with the Board of Supervisors, County Administrative Officer, and other top management staff in the development of County Programs and policies,
  • Draft and/or review for legal sufficiency all contracts, leases, ordinances, and resolutions before adoption;
  • Provide statutory interpretations and issue legal opinions in response to requests from the County and other clients, including addressing public information requests;
  • Plan, organize and direct staff and operations of the County’s legal department; develop departmental goals and objectives; communicate expectations to staff and provide strong leadership; promote performance and institute change management.
  • Supervises and participates in the development and administration of the Office budget.
  • Possess a strong understanding of municipal law, with an expert understanding of the Brown Act (Government Code Section 54950) and experience with dealing with conflict of interest situations.
  • Be proactive with identifying important legal issues and conducting research, and addressing scenarios in a timely manner with appropriate action;
  • Direct the conduct of civil litigation including the preparation for trials and administrative hearings; prepare a wide variety of legal documents; prepare legal appeals of lower court decisions by analyzing trial court proceedings and conducting research to determine appropriateness for appeals;
  • Serve as the legal advisor regarding conflicting juvenile dependency cases, Public Guardian probate, and conservator ships; and
  • Identify new developments concerning civil law, pending legislation, and judicial developments with strategic focus on the County’s mission.

Qualifications:
Experience:

  • Five years of increasingly responsible experience in professional legal work, including three years of practice performing duties similar to a Deputy County Counsel in the County of Lassen, one year of which must have been in a supervisory or administrative capacity.

Education:

  • Juris Doctorate from an accredited law school.

Licenses and Certifications:

  • Admission to practice before State and Federal Courts.
  • Active membership in the California State Bar Association.
  • Possession of, or the ability to obtain, a valid California driver’s license.

Compensation and Benefits:
Compensation:
The County Counsel will serve for four years from the time of appointment by the Board of Supervisors (pursuant to California Government Code § 27641). Compensation includes a Flexible Benefit Spending plan and salary is subject to negotiation depending upon qualifications.

Benefit package:
• Insurance– Flexible benefits spending plan to which the County contributes an allotment for employees to choose medical, dental, vision, life and supplemental insurance plans.
• Pers Retirement– County participates in the PERS Retirement System
• Compensation- Various step and longevity increases.
• Vacation, sick, personal and administrative leave
• Holidays- 13 paid holidays per year
• Life Insurance- $40,000 policy
• Choice of two optional Deferred Compensation 457 (b) plans
• Choice optional supplemental insurance plans

The Selection Process:
Recruitment open until filled.
First Review November 5, 2020.

Application materials will be reviewed, and the best-qualified applicants will be invited to Susanville to participate in interviews.

How to apply:
An application may be obtained from the Personnel Office listed below or by visiting our website at http://www.lassencounty.org. It is your responsibility to provide specific, accurate and complete information describing how you meet the minimum qualifications. Qualified applicants are invited to submit an official Lassen County
application to:
Lassen County Personnel Department
221 South Roop St., Suite 3
Susanville, CA 96130

  • Lassen County is an equal opportunity employer hiring employment eligible applicants.
  • Disabled applicants who require special testing arrangements should contact the Personnel Department prior to the filing deadline.
  • In accordance with the Immigration Reform and Control Act, applicants must provide acceptable proof of identity or authorization to work in the United States.

A thorough background investigation will be conducted post-conditional-offer of employment. The investigation
may include reference checks, fingerprinting, credit check, driver history and inquiry to local, state and federal files
to obtain criminal history information.

All applicants who meet the minimum qualifications are not guaranteed advancement through any subsequent phase of the selection process.

Selection processes may include, but are not limited to, one or more of the following: application review, competitive screening, written examination, performance examination, and/or oral examination.

This bulletin is solely for the purpose of announcing a job opening. It does not constitute a contract, expressed or implied, and any provisions contained herein may be modified or revised without notice.

For more information please contact the Lassen County Personnel office at (530) 251-8320.

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115 S. Roop Susanville, CA
530.257.7138