Haines borough administration building. (Lex Treinen/Chilkat Valley News)

The law firm that has represented the Haines Borough for more than 10 years will not seek to renew its contract. 

Charles Cacciola, an attorney for the firm Chandler, Falconer, Munson & Cacciola, LLP, did not respond to requests for comment about why the firm had decided not to renew the contract. In a letter to the assembly, he wrote the firm “considered our present goals and the borough’s and decided not to submit a proposal.”

Assembly members said it was hard news for the borough, which currently faces several appeals over planning and zoning decisions. 

“I’m disappointed to see him go. I expect the next person to be more expensive,” said assembly member Gabe Thomas. 

The borough paid $52,789 in legal fees to the firm in 2023, the most it’s spent in at least five years. The exact rate it pays per hour depends on the attorney price, according to chief financial officer Jila Stuart. The borough has faced several pieces of litigation over the last year about land-use permits as the assembly has heard appeals over heliport permits and gravel storage.

“I believe the firm is very tired of the same issues,” said Debra Schnabel. 

She said she didn’t believe the current litigation the borough is facing is a reason for Cacciola leaving. She pointed out that more litigation means more money for lawyers. She thought it might be the type of work that is leading to Cacciola’s decision. 

“Caciolla sat for four hours at the last assembly meeting, and I’m not surprised he doesn’t want to stay up until 11 at night,” she said. “I would not fault an attorney who would be assigned to take on the Haines Borough from declining if given a chance.”

The borough released a request for proposals for legal services that closed April 15 with three offices submitting proposals, according to borough manager Annette Kreitzer. Cacciola will continue to serve until July 31, according to his letter.