The Bellingham City Council on March 22, 2021, voted to approve Bellingham Mayor Seth Fleetwood’s recommendation to appoint Deputy City Attorney Alan Marriner as the next City Attorney, a position he will fill in April upon the resignation of current City Attorney Peter Ruffatto.
Marriner’s appointment will be effective on April 2, which is Ruffatto’s last day of City employment. Ruffatto announced earlier this month he has accepted a position with a local law firm, Chmelik Sitkin and Davis, where he will focus on municipal law.
Fleetwood said that, while Ruffatto will be greatly missed, he leaves a dedicated and highly capable group of attorneys and staff to continue to provide the City with excellent legal service.
“Peter is a treasured member of the City team,” Fleetwood said. “His wise and patient legal counsel, communications skills, kind personality and gentle humor will be sorely missed. I have enjoyed working with Peter and have relied on him extensively during this year of challenge and upheaval, as has the City Council and his many colleagues during his 18 years with the City,” Fleetwood said.
Marriner has been employed with the City Legal Department since 2004 and has served as Deputy City Attorney since 2014.
“Alan is a recognized leader and exceptional municipal attorney,” Fleetwood said. “He is extremely qualified to assume the role of City Attorney and we are grateful he is willing step into the position. I have great confidence in Alan, and I know the City Council does as well. He knows the issues, he knows the people, he knows the systems, and he is a trusted advisor to the City.”
Marriner, a graduate of the University of Washington School of Law, is an accomplished and highly respected attorney with more than 25 years of legal experience. He began his legal career providing legal services to low-income clients through his work with Evergreen Legal Services and the Legal Aid Bureau, later gaining experience as a municipal attorney including extensive work in administrative and superior court proceedings.
Since joining the City of Bellingham in 2004, Marriner has advised and represented the City in multiple areas including long range planning, land use, development, parks, public recreation, and property acquisition. Alan was promoted to Deputy City Attorney in 2014 and has served in that role as a trusted advisor to the Mayor, City Council, and department heads.