James Patrick Wilson. Page 1 of 5. Education

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1 Education Juris Doctor, Florida State University College of Law, Tallahassee, FL Bachelor of Science, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL Associate in Arts, Indian River Community College, Fort Pierce, FL Experience Private Practitioner, St. Augustine, FL Present City Attorney, City of St. Augustine, FL Town Attorney, Town of Orchid, FL Private Practitioner, Vero Beach, FL Assistant City Attorney, City of Vero Beach, FL Assistant County Attorney, Indian River County, FL Private Practitioner, Vero Beach, FL Assistant State Attorney, Office of State Attorney, 19th Judicial Circuit, Vero Beach, FL Assistant Public Defender, Office of Public Defender, 19th Judicial Circuit, Stuart and Vero Beach, FL Background America's Oldest City, St. Augustine, FL has a population of 13,000 permanent residents with approximately 13,000 tourists visiting every day. The City has 600 full and part time employees. Mr. Wilson supervised a staff of two, one of which was another attorney. He was also responsible for procuring outside legal council when necessary. Per the City's policy, outside council was used in union negotiations, disciplinary actions and personal injury. The legal team for the City handled all other legal matters. During his tenure, the three most important legal issues facing the city were: 1. The chaotic environment created by the 60 plus street vendor and performers who set up shop in a prominent street within the City's Historic Area. Mr. Wilson's predecessors felt the first amendment protected the performer and watched the problem become worse and worse. Mr. Wilson drafted a successful ordinance that restricted street vendor/entertainer usage of the street. 2. The City was heavily involved in annexations and the extension of utility service which frequently brought it into contention with the County. 3. St. Augustine is a very attractive area to businesses and developers and the pressure to and develop was enormous. The result was a large body of work which required coordination between the City Attorney and Planning and Zoning Departments among others. Page 1 of 5

2 Interview Comments After being in private practice for a little over a year, Mr. Wilson is reminded of what drew him to municipal law. While he enjoys the content of private practice and working with the clients, he dislikes the business aspects. As a City Attorney, he is able to simply do what he does best, practice law. Mr. Wilson is particularly intrigued with the City of West Melbourne as it is encountering many of the issues he has experienced throughout his career including annexations and development. On a personal note, he grew up in Vero Beach and has aging parents still in the area. He has been looking for just the right opportunity to move closer to them. He is also interested in working in the Florida Retirement System again. Mr. Wilson believes a successful City Attorney must know the law on a variety of levels -- county, city, and private. It is imperative they work well with people and refrain from getting involved in the political aspects of the position. Each elected official is different and some are more enjoyable to work with than others. Each, however, must receive the same respect and treatment. He is willing to listen to anyone and provide open and honest feedback. He listens to those who are angry with the city and has found that even those who were initially venomous have returned time and again with positive things to say about him and city government. Mr. Wilson believes that a good attorney never writes people off, is a bridge builder and possesses the ability to be aggressive in court when necessary. For the first eight years of his tenure with the City of St. Augustine, Mr. Wilson worked by himself and is comfortable in a smaller staff setting. He is well versed in and has had experience with most aspects of municipal law including utilities, zoning, airports, land usage, and so on. While he has not handled union relationships, he is familiar with the processes and comfortable working with insurance carriers. With regard to union negotiations, he believes that it is beneficial for smaller organizations to hire outside council. Everyone knows everyone and negotiations can be personal. Outside counsel does the negotiations and alleviating any longterm harm to relationships within the organization. Outside counsel may also be helpful when the Council Members are split about how to proceed on a matter. As a 27-year veteran of municipal law, Mr. Wilson has developed a standard and effective approach to law suits filed against the City. He first contacts the insurance carrier whom he takes considerable time to develop a good working relationship with. He then talks to each Council Member individually about the lawsuit in a private setting in order to advise them and address any concerns. He never comments on lawsuits to the media and advises the Council Members to follow the same practice. As a manager, Mr. Wilson takes a hands-on approach and tries to stay connected with his staff members and other city employees. One of his practices is to take a daily lap around the building to check in with colleagues as well as his staff. He also played on a city golf league that allowed him to forge relationships with colleagues on an informal level. He maintains an open door policy and encourages staff members to come to him for advice before a problem occurs. He feels he has been successful in promoting a healthy environment for reasonable debate. He Page 2 of 5

3 expects those that work for him to be good at their jobs and does not like to micro-manage. He is available to provide support when necessary and answer questions that will help them do their jobs better. Mr. Wilson has successfully developed strong working relationships with the elected officials he has worked for. He creates open relationships that allow them to discuss issues and maintain regular contact. He also knows when to leave them alone. He regularly met with elected officials and notified them of issues of concern. Those who have worked with him have found him to be a very good and knowledgeable lawyer. While they may not always agree with him, they never disputed his knowledge of the law. Most elected officials would say that he is a good guy and they enjoyed working with him. One of the elected officials in St. Augustine was particularly challenging to work with but Mr. Wilson has found that in his current private practice, the same individual has been the first to agree with him in matters involving the City. Mr. Wilson believes his ability to maintain professional relationships with everyone he works with to be his most important strength. His communications skills are excellent. He is able to explain complex legal issues to people in simple terminology. He also has a large base of experience and knowledge so he feels he can deal with just about any municipal issue. Finally, he thinks well on his feet and is composed in difficult situations. In terms of weaknesses, while he is meticulous in meeting deadlines, he sometimes puts off items until they need to be addressed. He also notes that while he is not naive he is, at times, too nice. Mr. Wilson's creation of a successful ordinance to remove street entertainers from a very prominent historic street is one of the greatest achievements. Many before him tried to identify legal mechanisms to alleviate the negative impact of the 60 plus entertainers that packed the already crowded street but were not successful. Mr. Wilson thought that he might be able to apply the existing body of law relating to adult entertainment that showed the adverse impact of their presence. He hired a specialist in adult entertainment as outside council and worked with him in drafting the ordinance. The City was sued and the case went to the I la' Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta. He is particularly proud of the fact that the City prevailed and successfully restricted street vendors and entertainers in the historic corridor. Another, more general achievement is that Mr. Wilson had a strong track record during his 12 year tenure with cities and has a long history of promotions and recommendations. His reputation and body of work opened many career opportunities to him before he even sought them out. Mr. Wilson believes that his biggest career mistake was leaving St. Augustine for private practice. He is simply too people oriented and he does not enjoy the business aspects of private practice. He enjoys the content of his job but would prefer to return to local government. In retrospect, he would have taken more time in choosing his employer and found a more compatible situation. He chose to leave St. Augustine and was on good terms with the elected Page 3 of 5

4 body although he did have a strained relationship with one Council Member. Mr. Wilson chooses not to dwell on mistakes, rather building upon them and remembering the lessons he learns. On two separate occasions, Mr. Wilson has found it necessary to fire employees. One employee could not keep up with the workload. In spite of working with the individual and providing additional training, satisfactory improvements were not made and the person was fired as a result. The other was incompetent and failed to send numerous important documents as requested. The law is very time sensitive and failure to get materials out can result in a judgment against the client. Consequently, the individual had to be let go. Mr. Wilson sees some of the challenges facing the next West Melbourne City Attorney as: Developing solid working relationships with the seven-member board of Council Members and helping them understand municipal law as it relates to their specific issues. Gaining the trust of the Council and supporting them without giving special attention to any one Council Member. Dealing with water supply and infrastructure issues. Building on relationships with City Attorneys in neighboring municipalities. If selected as the next City Attorney for West Melbourne, Mr_ Wilson will spend the first six months doing the following: Establishing a solid relationship with the Council, Learning about the organization and getting to know the people in it, Educating himself on the history of the community, and Getting on top of the legal issues. Mr. Wilson strongly dislikes seeing his name in the paper. Growing up in a relatively small community, he had more than his fair share of the limelight and has never been known to crave the spotlight. He does, however, understand the need to build positive relationships with the media. He is always available and willing to meet with the media. He will provide them information that allows them to understand the context of an issue without giving away legal confidences. He has represented newspapers in private practice and has learned how to gain their respect. He does not allow them to become adversaries. Mr. Wilson has been married for 27 years and has three children, each of whom is accomplished and upstanding members of the community. He is very proud of his children's accomplishments including his oldest daughter's national surfing champion title and his young son's determination to become a photo editor for a surfing publication. A devoted father and husband, he enjoys traveling with his wife and spending time with his children. He is active in sports including running, water rafting, and weight lifting. He also participates in amateur sports car racing. Page 4 of 5

5 Most Recent Salary City of St. Augustine: $110,000 plus car allowance and payment of bar fees Adjectives or Phrases Mr. Wilson used to describe himself: Personable, Friendly, Smart, Rational, Reasonable, Comfortable in his own skin, Independent, and Loyal. Interviewer' s Impressions: Friendly and open. Accomplished, humble and genuinely loves his job; especially working in local government. He is articulate, poised, funny, and intelligent. Prepared by: Alayna Weiss Colin Baenziger & Associates Page 5 of 5

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