Notes from the Allen County Board of Commissioners Legislative Session held today, January 22, 2010.
Joining the meeting in progress.
Barnes & Thornburg Federal Lobbying Contract
Barnes and Thornburg. Â This is the original contract and is increased by $500 per month, or $6,000 over the year. Â Total cost is $5,500 per month or $66,000 and only for Federal Lobbying efforts. Â Commissioner Peters is not interested in coming up with the additional $500 per month as the budget has already been set. Â He would be happy to entertain it for 2011. Â The additional cost is not budgeted for. Â Peters has just motioned to approve it without the increase.
Commissioner Bill Brown is asking what is hoped to be gained. Â Beth is responding it would be helpful to have the communication between the local delegation and Allen County government. Â They do keep her informed on things at the Federal legislature level. Â They also have oversight over paperwork submitted to Congressman Souder and Senators Lugar and Bayh. Â Commissioner Brown is asking what happens if they don’t accept it, is there room for negotiations. Â Not using them would not preclude Allen County from participating in the “game”, but it doesn’t engage us as much as we would like to be.
Commissioner Bloom is stating the minimum fees increased because the minimum fee does not include their expenditures like phone calls, travel, etc. Â “This was definitely the minimum.” Â This is the third contract. Â Prior to this, had Â a contract with another DC firm. Â We are the only client they have in the third Congressional district. Â Sometimes monies become available and it is advantageous for the lobbyist to have the connection.
Commissioners Bloom and Brown have just stated they were told the $500 is notÂ negotiable. Â Bloom is stating it is the result of escalating costs, but if it can be lowered fine. Â It has been tabled to see if the rate can be lowered.
Allen County Day at the Statehouse
February 25, 2010 is the date. Â There is discussion over how much it costs – transportation time and employees time. Â Commissioner Brown thinks between $5,000 and $10,000, however, Beth responded it was probably right around $5,000. Â Contract approved.
Final – Commissioner Bloom wished Commissioner Brown a Happy Birthday!