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City attorney submits intent to vacant position with 16 years of service

June 8, 2018
By TIFFANY REPECKI ( , Island Reporter, Captiva Current, Sanibel-Captiva Islander

The city of Sanibel is searching for a new attorney after receiving notice from its sitting staffer.

On May 11, City Attorney Ken Cuyler submitted to the Sanibel City Council a letter indicating his intent to vacant the position as of July 11. Under the terms of his contract, Cuyler is required to provide the city council with 60 days prior written notice of such a resignation, according to the document.

"Please note that this 60 day prior written notice of my planned resignation date is not a resignation letter," he wrote. "Although I see nothing that would alter my current plan to resign/retire on July 11th, my resignation will not be effective until I provide a separate written resignation letter to the City Council on, or effective as of, the specific date of my resignation."

At its June 5 meeting, the council discussed how to proceed with filling the position.

Mayor Kevin Ruane suggested subcontracting the position or an internal hire.

"This is something that we're going to need to do pretty quickly," he said.

Councilmember Jason Maughan voiced support for hiring in-house.

He noted that the person should be familiar with both development and municipal law.

"I wouldn't mind having him (Ken Cuyler) help us in the selection process," Maughan added.

At the meeting and in his letter, Cuyler expressed his openness to assisting the council.

He explained that if the city runs into a legal situation, there is no red tape when seeking out advice.

"You don't have to bid out your legal services," Cuyler said.

Following discussion by the dais, Ruane requested him to create a job description for the position, along with a request for quotation, to assist in the process of searching for qualified applicants.

Cuyler was hired as the city attorney in 2002.

A graduate from the University of Florida with a BSBA major in accounting, he received his Juris Doctorate from Stetson Law School. After serving the State Attorney's Office in Naples for more than two years, Cuyler was offered a position at the Collier County Attorney's Office. At the age of 33, he became the county attorney and served in the position for 10 years.

Cuyler served as chief legal advisor to Collier County general government and the Collier County Utilities District. In 1995, he left the Collier County Attorney's Office to pursue a legal career within the private sector. From 1995 through 2002, Cuyler served at two prominent law firms in Naples.

In 1997, he was retained by the city of Naples to serve as legal counsel and was later retained by the city of Marco Island to serve as its first city attorney after incorporation and during the city's formation of its governmental structure. Cuyler has also represented various districts, boards and private clients.



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