Frederick C. Stavins, the City Attorney for the City of Champaign since 1981, has announced plans to retire from that position effective May 20, 2022. Serving for more than forty years, Stavins is the longest serving City Attorney and department head in the City’s history.
Stavins says that he has treasured serving the City, saying, “The lawyers, legal assistants, and paralegals that I have worked with have been, and continue to be, the best municipal legal group in the State of Illinois. Working with these excellent legal professionals has made my job the best a person could hope for. I am also lucky to have worked with so many high-performing and creative department heads who are, in their own right, leaders in their fields, as well as other City staff who are dedicated to serving the public. I am also privileged to have worked with a wide variety of elected and appointed officials, who despite sometimes having differing views, have tried their best to work for all of our residents.”
Of Stavins’ retirement, City Manager Dorothy Ann David said, “Fred has faithfully served the City for more than four decades and leaves a lasting impact through the policies, practices, and City Ordinances that he helped put into place. Fred’s legal experience and expertise is unparalleled in local government, as is his ability to recall legal cases, precedents, and facts from throughout his distinguished career. Always ready to listen, provide good advice, or lend a helping hand, Fred’s positive energy and commitment are immeasurable and will be greatly missed. It has been a pleasure to work with Fred as both a legal counselor and a friend and we wish him the very best on his well-earned retirement.”
As City Attorney, Stavins is responsible for leading the City’s Legal Department and its professional staff. This includes providing legal review and advice to the City Council, Boards and Commissions, the City Manager, and all City department heads. Stavins estimates that during his career he has attended more than 2000 City Council meetings. He served under four City Managers, six Mayors, and scores of Council members and department heads. Stavins has also served as the lawyer for the City of Champaign Township and the Champaign -Urbana Mass Transit District.
Stavins began his legal career as Assistant Corporation Counsel for the City of Joliet, Illinois, where he served from 1977 to 1981. Prior to that he worked two years as an English teacher at West View Junior High School in Romeoville, Illinois. Stavins is a University of Notre Dame graduate and received his Juris Doctor Degree from the University of Illinois College of Law in 1976.
Stavins is proud to be a long time member of the International Municipal Lawyers Association, Illinois Municipal League Home Rule Attorneys committee, and is a past president and founding board member of the Illinois Local Government Lawyers Association. He is a recipient of the Epps Award from the International Municipal Lawyers Association and received the Distinguished Lifetime Achievement Award from the Illinois Local Government Lawyers Association.
Stavins adds, “I have appreciated the collegiality and friendship of so many lawyers in the community and across the state. I can say that all the lawyers with whom I have interacted with over the years, especially those representing other public entities, have been dedicated to sharing their expertise, reaching positive outcomes, and serving the highest interests of the law. Champaign has been a rich community where my family has thrived. Of course, my ability to do my job over such a long period of time would not have been possible without the steadfast support and occasional opinions from my parents, sister, wife Rosemary, and sons. I cannot possibly thank all of these people enough.”
The City will launch a nationwide search for a new City Attorney later this spring.