City Attorney

The principal objective of the Waterloo City Attorney's Office is to make Waterloo the best possible place to live, work and do business for and on behalf of its citizens by working as efficiently as possible in the following areas:

  • To assist in the operations of the City by serving as legal advisor to the City Council, Mayor, Department Heads, operating personnel and Boards and Commissions and by drafting resolutions, ordinances, legal opinions, and other legal documents upon request.
  • To uphold state and municipal laws by prosecuting those persons charged with misdemeanors, traffic offenses, municipal infractions and other laws and regulations within our jurisdiction and by educating and encouraging voluntary compliance with the law.
  • To advise City Officials on proposed and existing legislation and interpret the legal ramifications of new legislation.
  • To update and re-codify existing ordinances and to draft new ordinances for adoption by Council.
  • To represent the City and City Officials in court in either actions brought by the City or brought against the City.
  • To represent City in its negotiations and grievance processing with the bargaining representatives of its employees and assist Human Resources Department personnel with other employment related legal issues.
  • To monitor the delivery of all legal services to City, including those provided by outside counsel.

While the City Attorney represents the City and its various Departments, Boards and Commissions, the City Attorney is also usually available to answer Citizen questions on matters generally involving City government. The City Attorney cannot do so if the situation appears to create an ethical conflict of interest due to the Citizen’s issue involving a conflict with the City itself. The City Attorney cannot represent individual Citizens or give them legal advice.

The City Attorney is appointed by the City Council and usually has one or more Assistant City Attorneys who are assigned to specific areas of law.

Contact Information
Martin M. Petersen, City Attorney
City Hall
715 Mulberry Street
Waterloo, IA 5703
Phone: (319) 291-4327
Fax: (319) 291-4286