Krysten Hicks


Krysten Hicks advises cities and special districts on the full range of legal issues they encounter, including the Public Records Act, the Ralph M. Brown Act, Political Reform Act, public contracting, and general law issues. Krysten serves as City Attorney for the City of Colusa. Working closely with her clients, Krysten counsels on issues ranging from land use and environmental law issues, to negotiating agreements and public contracting issues. Among other projects, she has assisted in the preparation and review of California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) documents, including mitigated negative declarations and mitigation monitoring plans.
In addition to her land use experience, Krysten frequently advises municipal staff on legal issues arising from code enforcement related to business licenses, nuisance abatements and conditional use permits. She has devised strategies to help improve code compliance prior to the initiation of legal action, and has experience in drafting ordinances pertaining to abandoned properties, public nuisances, abatement and administrative fines. She has assisted in the preparation and review of general plan updates, zoning code amendments, and assisted with the implementation of development fees.
Krysten has also advised cities and special districts on matters pertaining to the Cortese-Knox-Hertzberg Local Government Reorganization Act, including those related to annexations, tax sharing agreements and sphere of influence amendments. Krysten has worked with fire districts, joint powers agencies, nonprofit corporations and sanitary districts. She has advised on joint powers agreements related to regional transportation projects and agreements with the State of California related to highway improvement projects. Krysten is a member of the California Special District Association’s Legislative Committee, where she provides feedback on pending legislation and Statewide initiatives impacting special districts.
Krysten was awarded an Education Law Fellowship from the University of Pacific, McGeorge School of Law and earned her Master of Laws (LL.M.) in Local Government and Public Policy.  As part of that program, she taught criminal law to high school seniors and worked with a school district in the review of a proposed charter for a high school.  She understands and advises on day-to-day issues faced by schools, including for example, issues related to public records, due process and construction.

Presentations and Publications

  • Presenter, “Board Member Compensation Rules: Salaries, Healthcare, PERS & Expense Reimbursements,” CSDA Annual Conference, 2014; Special District Leadership Academy, 2014
  • Presenter, “Ethics AB 1234 Compliance Training,” CSDA Annual Conference, 2014
  • Speaker, “Brown Act, Conflict of Interest and Public Records Act in California,” Lorman Seminar, 2014
  • Presenter, “Ethics AB 1234 Compliance Training,” CSDA Webinar, 2013
  • Co-Author, “Developing Trends in Medical Marijuana Regulations,” The Public Law Journal, Summer, 2013
  • Speaker, “FPPC Gift Regulations 101,” California Association of County Treasurers and Tax Collectors Meeting, 2013
  • Speaker, “The Board Clerk’s Road Map Through Elections, Board Vacancies, and Board Orientation,” CSDA Board Secretary/Clerk Conference, 2013
  • Speaker, "Ethics AB 1234 Compliance Training," CSDA Annual Conference, 2012
  • Speaker, “Can I accept that gift? What You Need To Know About The Updated FPPC Gift Regulations,” CSDA Annual Conference, 2012
  • Speaker, "What you Need to Know About Public Records and Open Meetings," Lorman Education Services Seminar, 2011 and 2012
  • Speaker, “Smoke in the Air After Proposition 19? How the Initiative Will Impact Local Governments,” Tri-Counties Local Government Attorneys’ Association Luncheon Meeting, 2010
  • Panel Speaker, “Community Interaction of Marijuana Production, Sales and Dispensaries,” Sonoma County Women in Law, 2010
  • Reviewer, The California Municipal Law Handbook, League of California Cities, 2008, 2009
  • Speaker, “What You Need to Know About Public Records, Conflicts of Interest and Open Meetings in California,” Lorman Education Services, 2007
  • Author, “Thresholds for Confidentiality: The Need for Articulate Guidance in Determining When to Breach Confidentiality to Prevent Third Party Harm,” The Transnational Lawyer, 2004
  • Speaker, various presentations for continuing education credit. Topics include code enforcement, green building ordinances and massage establishment regulations
  • Speaker, various AB1234 presentations on ethics

Professional and Community Affiliations

  • Member, The State Bar of California
  • Member, Traynor Honor Society
  • Comment Writer and Associate Comment Editor, Pacific McGeorge Global Business & Development Law Journal
  • Education Law Fellowship
  • Judge, California Youth Citizenship, Gordon D. Schaber Mock Trial Competition
  • Member, Legislative Committee, California Special Districts Association
  • Previous Member, California State Bar, Environmental Law Legislation Committee
  • Former High School Coach, California Youth Citizenship, Youth Court Program


  • University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law, JD with distinction, 2005
  • University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law, LLM, Government and Public Policy, 2006
  • University of California at San Diego, BA, Political Science and Psychology, 2002