Long-time City Attorney Bruce D. Curtiss (center with plaque) was honored for his years of service at May’s City Council meeting, pictured here with Council members: Bryon Alder, Jody Born, Mayor Bob Smith, Corrine Janovec and Tyler Sanne.

Bruce D. Curtiss, J.D., announced at the May, 2023 meeting of the Plainview City Council, his intention to resign at that meeting as the designated City Attorney for the City of Plainview.  He was presented a plaque by the Mayor and Council, thanking him for his 47 years of service as the City Attorney for the community of Plainview.

Curtiss said his full time law practice will continue at his office downtown, and he will also maintain his income tax practice and act as Coleridge Village Attorney, into the foreseeable future, filling in with Plainview City work at the Mayor’s request when needed.

Curtiss indicated it will still be his intention, and hope, to locate a lawyer willing to become a Plainview resident and operate a full time law practice in town, and in the meantime plans to fill in any open hours with ongoing work, and by “getting caught up with current clients, and having to send away less” of the work that is proposed by new clients.

Curtiss started his law practice in Plainview in 1976, and started doing the City’s work in 1977.  That part year, plus a part year in 2023, pushes the year count to 47 years of City employment.  Through that period he has worked with a large count of Mayors, administrators, and clerks, and says he always found the varied approaches and personalities of the elected and appointed officials to be both “challenging and interesting.” 

A list provided by the City offices noted the terms of Mayor’s Curtiss served through since 1977:
Myron Kuhl
Warren Dickinson
Kenneth Leiding
Michael Bernecker
Michael Naprstek
Larry Pendergast
Gale Retzlaff
Robert Baird
Daren Seip
Brian Schlote 
Robert Smith (present)

On review of Curtiss’s work with the City, he mentioned a few of the highlights or interesting projects that were had legal matters he worked with the Council to resolution, including many paving, nuisance, criminal prosecutions,  and zoning matters, with some specifics being:  bond issues and paving districts in 1988-89; ball park leases, 1985; cable TV coming to town, and new regulations in 1993; many minor and at least two major revisions of the City Code; tax increment financing in 1990;  Manor Purchase, file dated 1993; property purchase from Alfreda Zach, 1996; water tower project, 1996; the Evergreen Apartments paving district; major natural gas regulation changes, including management of Rate Area 10, in 1993, and leading up to the current system of gas providers bidding for gas sales; fire station additions and repairs in 1997; obtaining and resale of the AMPI property in downtown Plainview; the 1990 city park project; a building donation by Dr. Nye in 1992; Telephone company easements in 1996; purchase and zoning changes for the Hotel in 1994; Library Foundation and Manor Foundation; new city lagoon bidding, grants, and DEQ loan, 2003-04; ATV ordinance updates, 2008; Handibus program and ordinances, 2011; updates to 911 phone systems, 2012; Waste Hauler plan and contracts, 2013-present; water fluoridation in 2008; Contracting with MEAN (Municipal Energy Agency) for electricity, 2011; Roller rink land purchase (now the new library site), 2007; Lift station easements for new lagoon, 2006; and major zoning code updates in 2010. LB 840 plan and grants, 2016-present;  COVID 19 rules for baseball, car show, swimming pool, 2019-20; Comprehensive plan update, 2020; 4 plex project, 2020;  Downtown improvement (DTR) projects, 2020-21; Dollar Store, 2021-22.

As to the future, except for those few more available hours for tax and legal work, and “one more free Tuesday night each month,” not much has changed for Curtiss Law Office.  
Curtiss said he will continue to provide (almost) full time legal services for the community.  Meanwhile, the search goes on for someone to step in and take over the operation, and make Plainview their home, hopefully in the next year or two.