City attorney moving on to private practice

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After 9 and a half years of service, City Attorney Sherman Romney is giving up his government job to take a chance on private practice.

"I'm ready to do other things," he said.

Romney has resigned as the city attorney, giving four months notice to find and assist a replacement. He plans to phase out as the city attorney, first working part time at the post and then not at all.

He said he's enjoyed the time he spent with the city -- 5 and a half years of which were as the full-time city attorney.

"I really enjoy working for the city," he said. "It's a good city council and a great city staff."

Romney was promoted from part-time city attorney to full time right in the middle of the Estey-Simpson lawsuit. The suit contended the city breached a contract when the council agreed to sell property but backed out after a group of residents opposed the sale. Residents said the sale was illegal

Romney assisted the city in dealing with that lawsuit, which ended in a settlement.

According to City Manager Jim Ferree, Romney's latest work in negotiating the transfer of properties to complete the exchange that will put the city in full ownership of Elkhead Reservoir has been a valuable asset. Feree also pointed to Romney's continued work in negotiating with the Colorado River Water Conservation District for the expansion of the reservoir as a plus for the city.

"He's been a good attorney for the city council and the city," Ferree said.

Romney said that while he's enjoyed the work, he's ready for a change and hopes to find success as a private attorney focusing on estate planning and business law, which would mean helping businesses get set up, get incorporated or establish limited liability partnerships.

"It's just been wonderful to see how local government operates and be a part of that," he said. "I've learned a lot."

Romney said his time with the city has been filled with success and challenges, one of which is balancing the needs of the city with his role as a member of the community.

"There have been some challenging times and I've enjoyed working with good people who are trying to get through those challenging times," he said. "There have been some fires to put out but I feel good about the time I've served and am ready to move on."

The city has advertised the position with the Colorado Municipal League and in the Craig Daily Press and has mailed information

about the opening to other city attorneys.

Craig City Councilor Don Jones said he understands Romney's need to stretch his wings.

"He's a young, aspiring attorney and needs to do what he needs to do," he said. "He's done us a good job. His knowledge of what's going on will be tough to replace."

Romney also owns Romney's Natural Pigs and his wife is the owner of Sweetwater Trading Company in downtown Craig.

Christina M. Currie can be reached at 824-7031, Ext. 210 or by e-mail at ccurrie@craigdailypress.com.

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