The City Council is scheduled to consider a professional services agreement with attorney Jessica Ness as the City’s Hearing Examiner.
The city had contracted for Hearing Examiner services with Douglas Fair (current South District Court Judge and former Edmonds Municipal Court Judge) since 2001. He served out his current agreement with the City through the end of 2014 when he was appointed to the South District Court.
Mountlake Terrace’s Hearing Examiner can make determinations on appeals of certain civil infractions, particularly nuisance violations. In addition, the Hearing Examiner is assigned to make decisions on certain kinds of environmental cases and on appeals of impact fees.
In February, an interview panel comprised of the City Manager, City Attorney and Police Chief interviewed Ness, a local Snohomish County attorney who currently serves as a regular Judge Pro Tem in the District and Municipal Courts of Snohomish County. Ness has a private law practice focused on criminal defense and is a former Snohomish County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney. The interview team recommended the City Council approve a professional services contract with Ness for Hearing Examiner services. The agreement stipulates that Ms. Ness would earn $75 per hour, the same hourly rate paid to Judge Fair.
The Council also likely will approve a contract for the Lakeview Trail Project with Taylor’s Excavators, Inc. as part the meeting’s Consent Calendar. Construction is anticipated to begin in April, with completion of the project sometime later this fall.
Updated at 2:55 p.m., Tuesday, March 17, to reflect Ness’ hearing examiner duties.