Cotati hires Donoghue as its new city attorney
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By Dave Williams  November 16, 2012 12:00 am


Come next year, Cotati will have a new city attorney.

The Cotati City Council, at its meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 21, was expected to approve the hiring of Robin Donoghue to replace the retiring Richard Rudansky, who announced he would step down at the end of the year.

Donahue, like Rudansky, is an attorney for the Meyers Nave law firm’s office in Santa Rosa. The transition should be smooth, according to City Manager Dianne Thompson, because Donoghue has been working with the city and familiarizing herself with the city’s issues for a few months. Meyers Nave represents a number of cities throughout the state of California.

“With her professionalism and legal background, she is a great addition to the city team,” Thompson said. “We’re very familiar with her and she’s been doing a very good job.”

Donoghue’s area of expertise, according to Thompson, is in the redevelopment segment of law. She has counseled and represented public agencies in transactions and litigation pertaining to all aspects of redevelopment, real estate and housing law. Her practice focuses on issues such as successor agencies and housing successor implementation following dissolution of redevelopment agencies, fair housing and due diligence investigations.

She also serves as the town attorney for Windsor and was recently selected to advise the Marin County Auditor-Controller’s office. Prior to joining Meyers Nave, Donoghue served as senior attorney for the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency. There, she negotiated owner participation agreements, development agreements and leases. She also advised the agency with respect to relocation services, hazardous materials and environmental review.

With the exception of one member, Donoghue will be familiar with the five-member council for which she will be providing counsel. Newly elected Wendy Skillman will replace the departing Janet Orchard, but Mayor Susan Harvey, Pat Gilardi, John Dell’Osso and Mark Landman remain.

“I am looking forward to working with our new council,” Thompson said. “Cotati is fortunate to have a savvy, dedicated council. Wendy Skillman, with experience on the City's Planning Commission and Community and Environment Commission, in addition to her expertise as an attorney, will bring a new perspective. It will be a busy year in Cotati in 2013, with the 50th anniversary celebration coming up, the SMART depot under construction and other exciting projects.”

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