Rancho Palos Verdes City Council
   

TO: HONORABLE MAYOR AND MEMBERS OF THE CITY COUNCIL

FROM: DIRECTOR OF PLANNING, BUILDING, AND CODE ENFORCEMENT

DATE: JUNE 17, 2003

SUBJECT: EXTENSION OF NCCP LOBBYIST CONTRACT

RECOMMENDATION

Extend the contract with Conservation Strategy Group (Joseph Caves), a professional lobbyist assisting the City/Conservancy in its efforts to secure state bond monies for funding the Portuguese Bend acquisition transaction, through December 2003.

BACKGROUND

On February 4, 2003, the City Council reviewed, discussed and approved the overall strategy for the Portuguese Bend acquisition. As part of the approved strategy, the Council agreed to retain the services of a state lobbyist to assist the City’s efforts in securing state funding for the proposed acquisition. The Council also agreed to retain the lobbyist only through the end of FY 02-03, given the uncertainties at the time with the FY 03-04 budget. As such, the City’s contract with the lobbyist was set to expire on June 30, 2003 (current agreement is attached). Given that the recently approved FY 03-04 budget includes funding for the lobbyist services through December 2003, Staff is proposing to extend the lobbyist contract accordingly.

DISCUSSION

The strategy for the Portuguese bend acquisition is two-pronged effort, which involves securing Resource Agency support for the NCCP (from the local San Diego and Carlsbad offices), while at the same time securing a funding commitment from the State’s Wildlife Conservation Board (WCB) from the millions of state bond dollars earmarked for habitat/open space conservation. In order to help secure the funding from WCB, the strategy includes using a professional lobbyist to assist the City in its efforts. The City’s lobbyist is Joseph Caves of the Conservation Strategy Group, LLC. Mr. Caves has been very successful in obtaining funding for projects from the WCB and has experience with NCCP related funding.

After speaking to Resource Agency personnel and other jurisdictions that have assembled conservation transactions with the use of WCB allocated monies, Staff and the PVPLC believe that Mr. Caves’ services are essential for facilitating the needed dialogue between

the City and WCB. At the present time Mr. Caves is laying out the foundation for the transaction by giving the City’s project exposure and recognition in Sacramento, with the overall objective of securing state monies at the WCB’s winter 2003 hearing. As a result, it is expected that Mr. Caves’ services will be needed through December 2003. Therefore, Staff is recommending that the consulting agreement with Mr. Caves be extended through December 2003.

FISCAL IMPACT

The cost for Mr. Caves’ services is $5,000 per month plus authorized expenses. Therefore, the cost of extending the lobbyist contract through December 31, 2003 would be $30,000. The recently approved FY 03-04 budget earmarks $30,000 for this expenditure.

CONCLUSION

The City’s Portuguese Bend acquisition strategy includes the use of a state lobbyist to help secure the state funding for the acquisition transaction. The current contract with the lobbyist is set to expire on June 30, 2003. It is expected that the lobbyist services will be needed through December 2003. Therefore, Staff is recommending that the consulting agreement with Mr. Caves be extended through December 2003.

Respectfully submitted,

Joel Rojas

Director of Planning, Building,

and Code Enforcement

Reviewed by:

Les Evans

City Manager

Attachments:

Current Consulting Agreement