SCV Water set to pay $264,000 yearly for lobbyists

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SCV Water Agency logo. Courtesy

SCV Water officials are expected to pay $264,000 a year for lobbyists.

On Thursday night, members of the agency’s Public Outreach and Legislation Committee met to continue their ongoing discussion over what they expect from state and federal lobbyists and what to pay them.

“Tonight (Thursday) the committee will review the 11 goals recommended by staff,” said Kathie Martin, spokeswoman for the agency.

“The next step would still be at the committee level, likely in November, where we will discuss specific scopes of work for potential legislative advocacy consultant contracts, and options for the selection process.

“Then together, the goals and recommendations for selection process will go to the Board of Directors, probably in January,” she said.

Some of the 11 goals of having paid lobbyists — spelled out in a legislative advocacy contract — include:

  • To maintain a representative presence in Santa Clarita, Sacramento and Washington D.C. which monitors issues of importance to SCV Water, and the Santa Clarita community as a whole, and keeps respective offices informed of issues of interest to the agency.
  • To foster and nurture relationships with elected representatives and their staff, on behalf of SCV Water.
  • To actively engage in water industry associations and coalitions, and perform related activities such as advocate for agency positions and attend meetings as necessary.
  • To monitor funding opportunities, whether through bond measures or the budget process, including advocating for inclusionary language in developing bond measures.

At least four of the recommended goals involve finding and procuring funding.

In terms of paying for the lobbying efforts, committee noted that the agency’s budget for fiscal year 2018-19 assumes continuation at the current rate through June 30, 2019, even though contracts expire on December 31.

“We have spoken to each of the firms and all are in agreement with a month-to-month arrangement until the path forward is decided,” Steve Cole,  the agency’s assistant general manager, wrote in a memo to the committee.

A list of lobbying expenses reviewed by the committee show:

  • Washington-based lobbyists, Anchor Consulting: $9,000 per month, or $108,000 per year.
  • Sacramento-based lobbyists, California Advocates: $8,000 per month, or  $96,000 per year.
  • Poole & Shaffery: $5,000 per month, or $60,000/year

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