Matthew Maggard will continue serving as the city attorney for the City of Zephyrhills, for at least three more years.
The Zephyrhills City Council unanimously renewed an independent contract agreement with Maggard, which is effective Nov. 1 and runs through the end of October 2023.
The contract terms remain the same as the existing city attorney agreement.
Under those terms, the city is required to pay a minimum fee of $700 per month as a retainer, with attorney services rendered at $150 per hour, and staff services are $50 per hour. The city also will provide Maggard with health insurance on the same basis as it is provided to the council. Another perk: Maggard will be provided an education allowance to attend the Florida Municipal Attorney Association Conference, and an additional local government-related conference.
As city attorney, Maggard, 35, attends all council meetings and workshops, and provides legal counsel to the city council and city staff.
The lawyer represents the city in litigation, collects delinquent taxes, forecloses liens upon real property, prosecutes code enforcement violations, and is the legal advisor to the police and fire departments. He also prepares and reviews all resolutions, ordinances, contracts and legal agreements, too.
Recent undertakings have included: Overseeing consolidation of the city’s fire department with Pasco County; updating the public-private contract on the Sarah Vande Berg Tennis & Wellness Center; and, helping the city facilitate a partnership with a couple of litigation firms to seek damages in a massive federal lawsuit against companies who manufactured firefighting chemicals later found to contaminate some of the city’s groundwater, wastewater and water wells.
Maggard started working for the city in 2016, taking over for then city attorney Joseph Poblick, who held the position for over a decade until he was appointed a Pasco County Court judge.
Maggard also runs private practice in partnership with Danny Burgess, former executive director of the Florida Department of Veterans’ Affairs and currently a candidate for Florida Senate District 20.
The Dade City-based law firm, Maggard & Burgess P.A., handles most aspects of Florida law, including injury, family, business, real estate, banking and foreclosures, criminal defense and traffic, and landlord-tenant, as well as wills, trusts and probate.
Zephyrhills City Manager Billy Poe, who often works closely with the city attorney, expressed his appreciation for how Maggard goes about his duties.
Poe explained, “If ask him a question and he doesn’t know the answer, he doesn’t try to make something up. He says, ‘Give me a few minutes, let me go figure it out, let me go look it up,’ and he comes back with the right answer. …He goes and finds the answer and gets it to me.”
Council members similarly shared overwhelming positive reviews of Maggard’s performance thus far.
Council Vice President Jodi Wilkeson praised Maggard’s responsiveness, whenever a need arises.
“I feel like we have a great working relationship with all of our staff, particularly (Maggard), and I’m hoping for many more years of success,” she said.
Added Councilman Ken Burgess: “I think he’s doing a really great job for us and we made the right decision there (to initially hire Maggard).”
Councilman Lance Smith acknowledged he was initially “a little concerned” about Maggard’s limited legal experience when the city brought the young attorney aboard several years ago. But, those concerns alleviated over time, Smith said, noting the attorney has “fit in well” with the city.
Maggard has some deep ties in public office.
He is the nephew of both Pasco County Commissioner Ron Oakley and State Rep. Randy Maggard.
The city attorney is a graduate from Florida Coastal School of Law and was admitted to the Florida Bar in 2013.
Published October 21, 2020