Would you recommend having the rotors resurfaced and brake pads replaced by a big dealership like Ford or a smaller dealership on a 1998 Ford Contour?
Certainly choose the dealer if that's where you are most comfortable; however any reputable repair shop would be able to do this repair. I'd suggest looking for a shop with ASE certification.
Remove the trans pan and then the filter. If the pan is on the front of the transmission, it cannot be replaced without rebuilding the transmission; because the bearings must be removed in order to get to the filter. Ford Contour transmissions do not have removeable filters. There is a metal screen which generally never needs to be replaced.