City Attorney takes job in Greeley, Colo.


Photo courtesy of City of Ames

City Attorney Doug Marek announced he’s leaving his position in favor of a similar position in Colorado.

Tedi Mathis

After more than 30 years working for the City of Ames as city attorney, handling legal matters within Ames, including Iowa State, Doug Marek has announced he will be accepting a position in Colorado.

Marek, the city attorney for Ames, announced Wednesday, Nov. 7, he has accepted a position as the city attorney in Greeley, Colo.

Marek says that after more than 30 years of work in Iowa, it is one of the few positions that could entice him from his current position. Marek was born and raised in Colorado and also completed his bachelor’s and master’s degrees there.

“I found out about the retirement of the [Greeley] city attorney when I went home for my high school reunion,” Marek said. He had met the former Greeley City Attorney at a national convention, and family and friends encouraged him to try for the position.

Greeley, like Ames, is a college town, housing University of Northern Colorado, and this was very important to Marek.

“University towns have a little bit of a different dynamic,” he said.

From the musical and theatrical entertainment to the sports, the lectures to the public transportation, Marek said there is always a draw to college towns. He also said that working with students and the university adds an interesting aspect to his job.

Reflecting on his time in Ames, Marek said, “It’s like nirvana. It’s the best place to be.”

His position as Ames’ city attorney is different than most city attorneys because of many things that make Ames unique, including his work with CyRide, electric utility and a municipal hospital.

Although Marek will not really be involved in the selection of his replacement, he is making sure to do what he can to help find a good fit for the city.

“I will be recommending what priorities should be considered and what qualifications people would look to for leadership,” Marek said.

Susan Gwiasda, public relations officer for the Ames, said that the city has not done much thus far to start the process of selecting a new city attorney.

“I think since Doug was in a position that had to be appointed and approved, as soon as it was approved, he began telling people,” Gwiasda said of Marek’s new position in Greeley. The city sent out a press release the following day to inform the public.

There is not a system set in stone for selecting a city attorney, as it is a decision completely up to the City Council. In fact, Gwiasda said it is “one of the few city of Ames positions appointed by City Council.”

They will soon begin a nation-wide search for possible candidates.

The council will begin planning the best way to execute this search at upcoming City Council meetings. In the past, the city has used sub-committees and worked with the human resources to find qualified individuals, but there is still a lot up in the air.

After the selection of candidates, a lot of the interviewing will take place in closed sessions of city council meetings and in private meetings with the mayor and council members. “When the finalists are named, those names then become public,” Gwiasda said.

The city had a moment of farewell to Marek at the previous City Council meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 12, though he will continue his work here through the end of December. “It’s been a lovely place to live,” said Marek.