City veteran chosen as interim city attorney


Massey: Walked the tight-rope for Council. - COURTESY CITY OF COLORADO SPRINGS
  • Courtesy city of Colorado Springs
  • Massey: Walked the tight-rope for Council.
Deputy City Attorney Wynetta Massey has been chosen as interim city attorney effective tomorrow, replacing Chris Melcher who resigned effective Jan. 31. She'll get a 10 percent increase in her current pay of $139,277 per year during the so-called transition period, which the city said in a release would cost $8,166.

Melcher, who's paid $183,736 a year and got a $25,000 bonus last year, now is acting as "a consultant" through Jan. 31, the city said in the release.

The release also noted he "will be available for assistance and consultation through July 31." We asked how much he'll get paid for that and received this e-mail explanation from the city communications office:

Mr. Melcher will be a consultant through Jan 31, which was his original resignation date. He will then be available for the six month period following, which is standard for executive members. He will be compensated during those periods of time at his current rate of compensation.
That would mean Melcher would be paid $88.33 per hour for work after Jan. 31.

We also asked Council President Keith King for a comment on losing Council's legal advisor Massey, who has served in that role since February after Council complained bitterly about Melcher siding with his boss, Mayor Steve Bach, on legal issues in which the mayor and Council were at odds.

He says via e-mail:

Wynetta Massey has demonstrated her ability to work with both the Mayor and City Council. I appreciate the Mayor appointing Wynetta Massey to this position. I think this is a great way to start the New Year. Wynetta has proven her ability to work with City Council and I believe she will continue to do so. I know she understands the Council/Mayor form of governance. I am confident as she transitions to the role of running the City Attorney office, she will find an appropriate attorney to work with the City Council.
Here's the news release:

Mayor Steve Bach announced today that he has appointed Wynetta Massey as Interim City Attorney effective January 3, 2014. Ms. Massey, who served as a Deputy City Attorney and Legislative Counsel to City Council, will succeed City Attorney Chris Melcher who is returning to private practice. Ms. Massey will appoint a new Legislative Counsel from within the City Attorney’s Office existing staff.

Mr. Melcher will serve as a consultant and maintain a City office through January 31. He will be available for assistance and consultation through July 31.

The Mayor praised Mr. Melcher for outstanding service to the City over twenty-seven months, including an instrumental contribution to the successful lease of Memorial Health System to University of Colorado Health, the establishment of the Colorado Springs Health Foundation and the Colorado State approval of the City for Champions economic development proposal. A key member of the City’s Executive Team, he led the reorganization and full staffing of the City Attorney's Office, which sets that function on a successful course for the future.

Wynetta Massey is a longtime member of the City’s legal team, having worked in a variety of progressively responsible roles over the past twenty-four years. “I appreciate the Mayor’s confidence in me and this opportunity to serve the legal needs of the Mayor, City Council and the City during this interim period,” says Ms. Massey.

While serving as Interim City Attorney, Ms. Massey will receive the standard ten percent increase to her current salary of $139,277 (the total additional cost to the City during this transition period will be $8,166). Mayor Bach said he chose Ms. Massey as the Interim City Attorney because of her “tremendous institutional knowledge, professional skill sets and decades of municipal government experience.”  

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