Steve Stitzel, one of the firm's co-founders, began working with Vermont towns in 1978 while still attending law school. Among the projects worked on were adding tennis courts to a town park, comprehensively revising a zoning ordinance, and assisting a reclusive Russian-speaking property owner resolve a property tax delinquency. Since admission to practice in 1980, he has represented local governments on an almost exclusive basis. If you drive almost anywhere in Vermont today, he can point out public buildings, roads, recreation paths, and properties involved in zoning enforcement actions or permit disputes where he represented the local community.
“Local governments in Vermont are on the front line in addressing quality of life issues at the community level. Whether it is traffic congestion, water quality, public safety, recreation, or just noisy neighbors and nuisance pets, residents look to their locally-elected boards to address the issue. What makes working with local governments particularly interesting and challenging is that technological and social change keeps bringing new issues to center stage.”
Local response to evolving community issues is multifaceted. From real estate acquisition, permitting and construction of public facilities, drafting and enforcing ordinances, working on legislation with the General Assembly and dealing with labor and employment issues, Steve has assisted municipalities to achieve their desired goals.
“Public officials today manage governmental entities that operate in an environment highly regulated by the state and federal governments. One of our most important goals is to help these officials serve their communities with pride and satisfaction by helping them fulfill the responsibilities of their offices and accomplish what their communities expect from them in a lawful, ethical and efficient manner.”