Rancho Palos Verdes City Council
   

DECEMBER 7, 2004 EXTENSION OF NCCP LOBBYIST CONTRACT DECEMBER 7, 2004 EXTENSION OF NCCP LOBBYIST CONTRACT

TO: HONORABLE MAYOR AND MEMBERS OF THE CITY COUNCIL

FROM: DIRECTOR OF PLANNING, BUILDING, AND CODE ENFORCEMENT

DATE: DECEMBER 7, 2004

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 June 2005; and 2) Adopt Resolution No. 2004-__ approving a $30,000 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. On December 16, 2003, the City Council extended the consulting agreement to March 31, 2004. On March 16, 2004, the City Council extended the consulting agreement to June 30, 2004. On July 6, 2004, the City Council extended the consulting agreement to December 31, 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 recommending that the consultant agreement with Mr. Caves be extended further.

DISCUSSION

The strategy for the Portuguese Bend acquisition involves securing Resource Agency approval for the City’s NCCP, 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.

Based on the most recent conversations with WCB staff, (that have been facilitated by the City’s lobbyist), all efforts are underway to have the City’s funding request be acted upon by WCB at its April 2005 hearing. Since some follow-up may be required with WCB after the April 2005 hearing, Staff is recommending that the consulting agreement with Mr. Caves be extended through June 2005.

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 June 30, 2005 would be $30,000. The total cost of this expenditure is currently not budgeted, as the City’s FY 04-05 budget allocates $30,000 for the lobbyist’s services (through December 2004) and extending the lobbyist services to the end of June 2005 would amount to $60,000. Therefore, if the City Council authorizes the extension of the lobbyist’s services to June 2005, a budget appropriation of $30,000 will be required, the cost of which will be borne by the General Fund. As presented Attachment A (Statement of Estimated General Fund Reserves), the current estimate of ending General Fund reserves for FY 04-05 is $14.3 million,

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, 2004. It is expected that the lobbyist services will

be needed at least through June 2005. Therefore, Staff is recommending that the consulting agreement with Mr. Caves be extended through June 2005 and that a budget appropriation of $30,000 be approved to cover the cost of the extended contract.

Respectfully submitted,

Joel Rojas

Director of Planning, Building,

and Code Enforcement

Reviewed by:

Les Evans

City Manager

Attachments:

Resolution No. 2004 - __, authorizing a budget appropriation

Proposed Amendment No. 5 (Extension to June 2005)

Attachment A (Statement of Estimated General Fund Reserves)

RESOLUTION NO. 2004-__

A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES, AMENDING RESOLUTION NO. 2004-45, THE BUDGET APPROPRIATION FOR FISCAL YEAR 2004-2005, 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 1, 2004, the City Council of the City of Rancho Palos Verdes adopted Resolution No. 2004-45, approving a spending plan and authorizing a budget appropriation for FY04-05; 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,

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

The following adjustments be made to the FY04-05 budget:

Increase the General fund budget as follows:

NCCP #101-4005-441-32-00 Professional/Technical $ 30,000

PASSED, APPROVED, AND ADOPTED THE 7th DAY OF DECEMBER 2004.

___________________________

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. 2004-__ was duly and regularly passed and adopted by the said City Council at regular meeting thereof held on December 7, 2004.

_____________________________

CITY CLERK

CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES