Gary B. Bell


(530) 208-5346

gbell@chwlaw.us

Gary is a Shareholder of the firm. He currently serves as City Attorney for the City of Auburn and Town Attorney for the Town of Yountville, as well as General Counsel for the Garden Valley Fire Protection District, the Pine Grove Community Services District, the River Pines Public Utility District, the Upper Valley Waste Management Agency, and the First 5 Yuba Commission. His practice covers a range of public law issues, including elections law, land use, California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), public works contracting, contracts, franchise agreements and franchise fees, cannabis regulation and enforcement, municipal finance law, labor and employment law, constitutional law, code enforcement, conflicts of interest, open meetings and records laws, and post-redevelopment issues.

Gary’s current projects for clients include drafting ballot measures for a sales tax and for regulation and taxation of cannabis retail businesses; defending a writ seeking to overturn the imposition of a nuisance abatement lien; drafting franchise agreements with a solid waste hauler and a landfill operator; advice regarding labor grievances and employee discipline matters; and prosecuting code enforcement matters.

Before joining CH&W, Gary served as City Attorney for the City of Firebaugh and advised municipal clients throughout California on a wide range of issues, including counties, cities, school districts, and special districts.

Gary graduated with highest honors from UC Santa Cruz in 2008 with a B.A. in psychology. He received his J.D. in 2012 from the UC Davis School of Law, where he was staff editor of the UC Davis Business Law Journal and a research assistant in constitutional law. While at Davis, Gary worked as a law clerk in the Governor’s Office of Legal Affairs and as a legal extern at the Placer County Superior Court.

Before law school, Gary served as a Senate Fellow for the California State Senate in Sacramento, where he staffed the Senate Local Government Committee and worked on legislation of interest to California’s local governments.

Practice Areas:

  • Public Law
  • Elections Law
  • Contracts
  • Public Works Contracting
  • Labor and Employment Law
  • Municipal Finance Law
  • Conflicts of Interest
  • Constitutional Law
  • Code Enforcement
  • Land Use, Planning, and CEQA
  • Open Meetings and Records Law
  • Redevelopment Dissolution
  • Special Districts

Presentations:

  • Presenter, Napa-Solano International Code Council (2019)
  • Presenter, California Special Districts Association (CSDA) 2019 Annual Conference: Special District LAFCo Involvement
  • Presenter, CALAFCO Staff Workshop (2019)
  • Presenter, California Special Districts Association (CSDA) Webinar (2019): Special District LAFCo Involvement
  • Presenter, California Special Districts Association (CSDA) AB 1234 Training (2018)

Publications:

  • Contributor, Western City Magazine (Oct. 2019): Wayfair Decision Means More Sales and Use Tax Revenues for Cities
  • Contributor, California Special Districts Magazine (2019): LAFCos and Involuntary Dissolutions and Consolidations
  • Contributor, Western City Magazine (June 2018): U.S. Supreme Court Revisits Sales and Use Taxes in the E‑Commerce Age
  • Editor, The California Municipal Law Handbook (Cal CEB), Chapter 3 (Elections) and Chapter 6 (Franchises) (2016, 2017, & 2018)

Recognitions/Committees:

  • Recipient, Daily Journal Corporation: Top 40 Under 40 (2020)
  • Member, League of California Cities Legal Advocacy Committee (LAC) & LAC Executive Committee (2020-Present)
  • Member, CALAFCO Legislative Advisory Committee (2018, 2019, & 2020)
  • Member, CALAFCO Legislative Committee (2016 & 2017)