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Cedar Rapids City Council to Appoint City Attorney

Cedar Rapids City Council to Appoint City Attorney

October 19, 2021

Cedar Rapids City Council will vote to appoint Vanessa R. Chavez as the City’s next City Attorney at a special City Council meeting on October 20, 2021 at 2:30 p.m.

As City Attorney, Chavez will serve as legal counsel to the City of Cedar Rapids and oversee the City Attorney’s Office. The City Attorney provides full legal services to the Mayor and City Council acting as a body, as well as to those persons or entities empowered by law to act on the City’s behalf -- for example, the City Manager, Department Directors, and the City’s Boards and Commissions. The City Attorney’s Office consists of the City Attorney, three Assistant City Attorneys, and two Legal Assistants.

“Vanessa brings experience advising multiple cities on legal matters and serving as the city attorney for Green Bay, Wisconsin,” said Cedar Rapids Mayor Brad Hart. “Those experiences will serve her, and this city, well in her new role here. I would also like to acknowledge and thank Liz Jacobi for serving as our interim city attorney. We appreciate Liz and the City Attorney’s Office team for their invaluable service to City Council and the entire City organization.”

Chavez has served as City Attorney for the City of Green Bay Wisconsin since 2016. She was previously an Attorney with Robles, Rael & Anaya, P.C. in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She obtained her BA from New Mexico State University, Master in Information Studies from the University of Texas at Austin, and JD from the University of New Mexico.

In Green Bay, Chavez worked on major redevelopment projects, including the restoration of the historic Hotel Northland, the creation of the Railyard District, and redevelopment of the East Town Mall. She also assisted in major infrastructure projects including the Webster Avenue reconstruction in Green Bay, and numerous flood control projects on behalf of the Albuquerque Metropolitan Arroyo Flood Control Authority in New Mexico. She established an intern program for the City of Green Bay's Law Department in order to allow undergraduate and law school students to gain meaningful experience in the field.

“As our family talked to people in the community as we considered the move, we heard time and again about the resiliency and work ethic of the people of Cedar Rapids, and the way the community comes together,” said Chavez. “These are values our family shares, which made it easy for us to choose the City of Cedar Rapids as the place where we want to work and live. I am excited to join the Cedar Rapids team and continue the important work already being done to improve the quality of life for the community where we will raise our children.”

The Novak Consulting Group (part of Ratelis) conducted a national search for this position on behalf of the Cedar Rapids City Council. Council approved an agreement on May 25, 2021 for $33,500 to provide executive search services, including development of a candidate profile, providing detailed recruitment process documents, conducting active recruitment and screening, and support for interviews and selection.

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