John Hewitt, an attorney with the Cline Williams law firm, will act as the city’s chief negotiator in bargaining with the five unions whose contracts end this summer.
Hewitt will also help the city develop goals and proposals, and advise on strategy and state law. The $125,000 contract with his firm also requires that he be available to talk with the council or at news conferences.
The city has paid Cline Williams $146,021 over the past two years for similar services.
Mayor Chris Beutler says the city uses a private-sector negotiator to avoid potential conflicts of interest.