Rancho Palos Verdes City Council
   

TO: HONORABLE MAYOR AND MEMBERS OF THE CITY COUNCIL

FROM: DIRECTOR OF PLANNING, BUILDING, AND CODE ENFORCEMENT

DATE: DECEMBER 16, 2003

SUBJECT: EXTENSION OF NCCP LOBBYIST CONTRACT

RECOMMENDATION

1) Extend the consulting agreement 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 March 2004; and 2) Adopt Resolution No. 2003-__ approving a $5,000 budget appropriation to cover the cost of the extended consulting agreement.

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 Joseph Caves, 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. Therefore, the term of the original consulting agreement between the City and Mr. Caves’ lobbying firm, Conservation Strategy Group was from April 1, 2003 through June 30, 2003. On June 17, 2003, after the City’s FY 03-04 budget was adopted by the City Council, the City Council extended the consulting agreement with Mr. Caves to December 31, 2003.

Given that the targeted state monies needed for the open space acquisition have not yet been secured and that Staff believes that Mr. Caves’ involvement remains essential to successfully securing such funds, Staff is now recommending that the consultant agreement with Mr. Caves be extended further.

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 a very successful record of obtaining funding for projects from the WCB and has experience with NCCP related funding. City Staff originally sought Mr. Caves’ services after speaking to Resource Agency personnel and other jurisdictions that have assembled successful conservation transactions with the use of WCB allocated monies. It was, and continues to be, Staff’s belief that Mr. Caves’ services are essential for facilitating the needed dialogue between the City and WCB.

It should be noted that the City’s partner in the open space acquisition effort, the Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy, has also hired a state lobbyist, Mr. Craig Brown, to assist in the acquisition efforts. Working together, Mr. Caves and Mr. Brown, have been able to layout the foundation for the transaction by giving the City’s project exposure and recognition in Sacramento. The original objective was to secure the needed state monies at the WCB’s winter 2003 hearing. However, as a result of the successful gubernatorial recall election, there have been major changes to the make-up of WCB and the directorship of the State Department of Fish and Game. As a result of these changes, the objective is now to secure the state monies at the WCB’s March 2004 hearing. Therefore, Staff is recommending that the consulting agreement with Mr. Caves be extended through March 2004.

FISCAL IMPACT

The cost for Mr. Caves’ services is $5,000 per month plus any authorized expenses. Therefore, the cost of extending the consulting agreement through March 30, 2004 would be $15,000. The total cost of this expenditure is currently not budgeted, as the City’s budget contains $40,000 for the lobbyist’s services ($30,000 in FY 03-04 plus $10,000 carried over from FY 02-03) and extending the lobbyist services to the end of March 2004 would amount to $45,000. Therefore, if the City Council authorizes the extension of the lobbyist’s services to March 2004, a budget appropriation of $5,000 will be required, the cost of which will be borne by the General Fund.

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 December 31, 2003. It is expected that the lobbyist services will be needed at least through March 2004. Therefore, Staff is recommending that the consulting agreement with Mr. Caves be extended through March 2004 and that a budget appropriation of $5,000 be approved to cover the cost of the extended contract.

Respectfully submitted,

Joel Rojas, AICP, Director of Planning, Building and Code Enforcement

Reviewed by:

Les Evans, City Manager

Attachments:

Resolution No. 2003 - __, authorizing a budget appropriation

Original Consulting Agreement

Amendment No. 1 (Extension to December 2003)

Proposed Amendment No. 2 (Extension to March 2004)

RESOLUTION NO. 2003-__

A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES, AMENDING RESOLUTION NO. 2003-42, THE BUDGET APPROPRIATION FOR FISCAL YEAR 2003-2004, TO INCREASE THE BUDGET FOR PROFESSIONAL/TECHNICAL SERVICES RELATED TO STATE LOBBYING EFFORTS TO SECURE FUNDING FOR THE CITY’S PORTUGUESE BEND OPEN SPACE ACQUISITION

WHEREAS, Section 3.32 of the Rancho Palos Verdes Municipal Code provides that all expenditures in excess of budgeted allocations must be by supplemental appropriation of the City Council; and,

WHEREAS, on June 3, 2003, the City Council of the City of Rancho Palos Verdes adopted Resolution No. 2003-42, approving a spending plan and authorizing a budget appropriation for FY03-04; and,

WHEREAS, on February 4, 2003, the City Council reviewed, discussed and approved the overall strategy for the Portuguese Bend acquisition, and as part of the approved strategy, the Council agreed to retain the services of Joseph Caves, a state lobbyist, to assist the City’s efforts in securing state funding for the proposed acquisition; and,

WHEREAS, the targeted state monies needed for the open space acquisition have not yet been secured and Mr. Caves’ involvement remains essential to successfully securing such funds, the City Council believes that the consultant agreement with Mr. Caves should be extended further; and,

WHEREAS, certain programs included in the FY03-04 budget will have expenditures in excess of the adjusted budget; and,

WHEREAS, the City Council desires that the FY03-04 budget be increased for each of these programs to assure budgetary compliance.

BE IT, THEREFORE, RESOLVED BY THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES:

The following adjustments be made to the FY03-04 budget:

Increase the General fund budget as follows:

NCCP #001-401-35 Professional/Technical $ 5,000

PASSED, APPROVED, AND ADOPTED THE 16th DAY OF DECEMBER 2003.

___________________________

MAYOR

ATTEST:

______________________

CITY CLERK

State of California )

County of Los Angeles )ss

City of Rancho Palos Verdes )

I, JO PURCELL, City Clerk of The City of Rancho Palos Verdes, hereby certify that the above Resolution No. 2003-__ was duly and regularly passed and adopted by the said City Council at regular meeting thereof held on December 16, 2003.

_____________________________

CITY CLERK

CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES