Rancho Palos Verdes City Council
   

JULY 6, 2004 EXTENSION OF NCCP LOBBYIST CONTRACT

TO: HONORABLE MAYOR AND MEMBERS OF THE CITY COUNCIL

FROM: DIRECTOR OF PLANNING, BUILDING, AND CODE ENFORCEMENT

DATE: JULY 6, 2004

SUBJECT: EXTENSION OF NCCP LOBBYIST CONTRACT

RECOMMENDATION

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 December 31, 2004.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

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 expired on June 30, 2004. It is expected that the lobbyist services will be needed at least through December 2004. Therefore, Staff is recommending that the consulting agreement with Mr. Caves be extended through December 2004. No budget adjustment is necessary as funds to cover the cost of the lobbyist through December 2004 are included in the FY04-05 budget.

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. On December 16, 2003, the City Council extended the consulting agreement to March 31, 2004. On March 16, 2004, the City Council further extended the consulting agreement to June 30, 2004.

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, securing the state monies from WCB has been delayed.

It is Staff’s understanding that all the key appointments have been made in the new governor’s administration. Furthermore, the City’s NCCP Subarea Plan and associated EIR are almost complete and will be released to the public in July and presented to the City Council in August. Given these circumstances, Staff expects WCB to be in the position to approve the state funding for the City’s NCCP at its November 2004 meeting. The lobbyists are aware of this objective and continue to maintain contact with WCB to ensure that the City’s acquisition request continues through as planned. Therefore, Staff is recommending that the consulting agreement with Mr. Caves be extended through December 31, 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 December 31, 2004 would be $30,000. The total cost of this expenditure is included in the recently approved FY 04-05 budget.

Respectfully submitted,

Joel Rojas

Director of Planning, Building,

and Code Enforcement

Reviewed by:

Les Evans

City Manager

Attachments:

Proposed Amendment No. 4 (Extension to December 31, 2004)

AMENDMENT NO. 4 TO CONSULTING AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES AND CONSERVATION STRATEGY GROUP, LLC.

THIS AMENDMENT NO. 4 to that certain Consulting Agreement between the City of Rancho Palos Verdes and Conservation Strategy Group L.L.C., dated April 1, 2003 (the "Agreement"), a copy of which is on file in the office of the City Clerk, is made and entered into as of this 6th day of July, 2004, by and between the City of Rancho Palos Verdes, a municipal corporation ("City"), and Conservation Strategy Group L.L.C ("Consultant"). City and Consultant are sometimes collectively referred to hereinafter as the Parties.

RECITALS

A. City and Consultant entered into a written agreement, dated April 3, 2003, for Consultant to provide professional consulting services in connection with obtaining funding to purchase certain properties for open space and habitat purposes and to complete the NCCP that is being prepared by the City. The Agreement subsequently was amended by Amendment No. 1, which was approved by the City Council on June 3, 2003, and extended the term of the Agreement through December 31, 2003. The Agreement subsequently was amended by Amendment No. 2, which was approved by the City Council on December 16, 2003, and extended the term of the Agreement through March 31, 2004. The Agreement subsequently was amended again, by Amendment No. 3, which was approved by the City Council on March 16, 2004.

B. The Parties mutually desire to amend the Agreement again to further extend the term of the Agreement.

NOW, THEREFORE, in consideration of performance by the parties of the mutual promises, covenants, and conditions herein contained, the parties hereto amend the Agreement as follows:

Section 1. Section 1 of the Agreement is hereby amended to read as follows:

"The initial term of this Agreement shall commence on April 1, 2003, and shall continue in full force and effect through and including December 31, 2004, unless earlier terminated as provided in Section 2 herein. This Agreement may be further extended by the mutual written agreement of the Parties."

Section 2. Except as expressly modified by this Amendment No. 4, all of the provisions of the Agreement shall remain in full force and effect.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the parties, through their respective authorized representatives, have executed this Amendment No. 4 as of the date first written above.

CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES

By: _____________________________

Mayor

ATTEST:

By: ________________________

Jo Purcell, City Clerk

CONSERVATION STRATEGY GROUP, LLC.

By: __________________________

[Name]

[Title]

By: __________________________

[Name]

[Title]