TO: HONORABLE MAYOR AND MEMBERS OF THE CITY COUNCIL
FROM: DIRECTOR OF PLANNING, BUILDING, AND CODE ENFORCEMENT
DATE: DECEMBER 6, 2005
SUBJECT: FUNDING A LOBBYIST FOR SUPPORT OF THE CLEAN WATER, CLEAN AIR, SAFE NEIGHBORHOOD PARKS AND COASTAL PROTECTION BOND OF 2006 (SB 153)
Approve a budget adjustment for $18,000 for the services of a state lobbyist (Joseph Caves of Conservation Strategy Group) for one year in support of the proposed Clean Water, Clean Air, Safe Neighborhood Parks and Coastal Protection Bond of 2006.
Senate Bill (SB) 153 (also known as the Clean Water, Clean Air, Safe Neighborhood Parks and Coastal Protection Bond Act of 2006) would place a $3.8 billion resources bond on the 2006 ballot that, among other things, would allocate $150 million to implement or establish NCCP’s. The funding in the bill for NCCP’s would be money that could be allocated to the City for completing the acquisitions associated with the City’s NCCP. Given that approximately half of the funding needed for the proposed Upper Filiorum acquisition is dependent on a successful bond measure, the Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy (PVPLC) has agreed to enter into a consulting agreement with Conservation Strategy Group (Joe Caves) for support of the bond measure. Staff agrees with the PVPLC’s strategy and therefore is recommending that the City Council approve a budget adjustment for $18,000 to cover half of the PVPLC’s lobbyist costs for one year.
In April 2003, the City retained the services of Joseph Caves of Conservation Strategy Group, a state-lobbying firm, to assist the City’s efforts in securing state funding for the City’s open space acquisition project. The City’s partner in the open space acquisition effort, the Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy (PVPLC), also retained their own state lobbyist, Mr. Craig Brown, to assist in the acquisition efforts. Working together, the lobbyists were successful in helping secure $11.55 million of state funding toward the open space acquisition. As a result, the City is now poised to complete the acquisition of 463 acres of open space (the Hon acquisition) by the end of the year. Having secured the
needed state funding to make this deal happen, the City’s contract with Joe Caves was not extended past October 2005. Likewise, the PVPLC terminated their lobbyist contract with Mr. Craig Brown.
As purchase of the Hon properties becomes complete, Staff and the PVPLC are turning attention to the acquisition of York Long Point Associates’ (YLPA) Upper Filiorum property. As the Council is aware, acquisition of the 218-acre Upper Filiorum property is necessary to complete the proposed Portuguese Bend Nature Preserve and critical for achieving the habitat Preserve goals of the City’s NCCP. To that end, PVPLC is proposing that the City partner with it on funding a lobbyist that would support passage of a state bond act since the passage of such is necessary to provide the needed funding for the Upper Filiorum acquisition.
Senate Bill (SB) 153, the Clean Water, Clean Air, Safe Neighborhood Parks and Coastal Protection Bond Act of 2006, is a $3.8 billion bond very similar to Proposition 40 (passed by the voters in 2002). The bill would place a resources bond on the 2006 ballot that contains funding provisions for State parks, conservancies, coast and ocean protection and other land, water and resource conservation programs. The most current version of the bill (as amended on September 2, 2005) would allocate $150,000,000 to implement or assist in the establishment of NCCP’s. A copy of the most current version of the bill is attached.
The $150 million specifically earmarked for NCCP’s would be allocated to the State Wildlife Conservation Board (WCB) and State Coastal Conservancy (SCC) for disbursement. These are the same two state agencies that provided the City with $11.55 million in state grants from existing Proposition 40 bond monies to help fund the Hon acquisition this year. Officials from both state agencies have made it very clear to Staff that there are no surplus Proposition 40 bond monies left and any state funding for future open space acquisitions would have to come from future state bond measures.
As things stand currently, passage of the bond measure is needed to fund a portion of the proposed Upper Filiorum (York Long Point Associates) acquisition. The proposed funding breakdown for the Upper Filiorum acquisition is as follows:
City $613,000 (secured)
Federal $2,000,000 (secured)
PVPLC (private) $2,000,000
Senator Wes Chesbro, the Chair of the Senate Budget Committee, is the author of SB 153. The measure passed the State Senate in June and then began making its way through the Assembly. On August 2, 2005, the City Council voted to formally support passage of the bill. The City’s former NCCP lobbyist, Joe Caves, who played a pivotal role in the passage of Proposition 40 in 2002, has been working closely with the Senator’s office to move the bill through the Assembly. At this time, the bill is parked in the Assembly Appropriations Committee and is eligible to be taken up when the legislature reconvenes in January.
In addition to working on the passage of SB 153, Mr. Caves is also working with Senator Don Perata’s office on the possibility of adding funding for natural resources to Senator Perata’s $11 billion infrastructure bond. According to Mr. Caves, it’s possible that the Assembly may join in and develop a bond proposal that would have both resources and infrastructure components.
Given that approximately half of the funding needed for the proposed Upper Filiorum acquisition is dependent on a successful bond measure, PVPLC has agreed to enter into a consulting agreement with Conservation Strategy Group (Joe Caves) for support of a bond measure. As described in the attached consulting agreement, beginning on December 1, 2005, Conservation Strategy Group will provide consultation and support for a cost of $3,000 per month. The PVPLC is requesting that the City partner with the PVPLC and split the cost of the lobbyist’s services.
Since the City’s proposed Upper Filiorum acquisition is dependent on the passage of a state bond measure and Mr. Caves has a pivotal role in the passage of such a measure, Staff agrees with the PVPLC’s strategy of retaining Mr. Cave’s services for support of the proposed bond measure. In particular, Staff believes it is important to have Mr. Caves support bill language that provides specific funding for the establishment of NCCP’s. Therefore, Staff is recommending that the City Council approve a budget adjustment for $18,000 to cover half of the PVPLC’s lobbyist costs for one year.
The cost for Mr. Caves’ services will be $3,000 per month plus any authorized expenses. Therefore, the cost to the PVPLC for retaining Mr. Caves for a one-year time period would be $36,000. Sharing in half of the PVPLC’s lobbyist costs for one year would cost the City $18,000. This expenditure is currently not budgeted, as the City’s recently adopted FY 05-06/06-07 budget allocates no money for such services. Therefore, if the City Council agrees to share in paying for the PVPLC’s lobbyist services, a budget appropriation of $18,000 will be required, the cost of which will be borne by the General Fund. As presented in Attachment A (FY 05-06 Statement of Estimated General Fund Reserves), the current estimate of General Fund reserves is $11,925,783.
Director of Planning, Building,
and Code Enforcement
CC Resolution No. 2005-__
Attachment A – FY 05-06 Statement of Estimated General Fund Reserves
Consulting Agreement between PVPLC and Conservation Strategy Group
SB 153 (most current version)
RESOLUTION NO. 2005-__
A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES, AMENDING RESOLUTION NO. 2005-53, THE BUDGET APPROPRIATION FOR FISCAL YEAR 2005-2006, 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 May 31, 2005, the City Council of the City of Rancho Palos Verdes adopted Resolution No. 2005-53, approving a spending plan and authorizing a budget appropriation for FY05-06; and,
WHEREAS, on August 2, 2005, the City Council agreed to formally support the proposed Clean Water, Clean Air, Safe Neighborhood Parks and Coastal Protection Bond of 2006 (Senate Bill 153) since passage of the bond measure is needed to fund a portion of the proposed Upper Filiorum open space acquisition; and,
WHEREAS, the City’s partner in the open space acquisition effort, the Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy (PVPLC), has retained the services of Joseph Caves, a state lobbyist, to assist in its efforts in securing state funding for future acquisitions that are necessary for completing the City’s NCCP; and
WHEREAS, Mr. Caves has a pivotal role in the passage of a state bond measure, which is needed to fund the City’s proposed open space acquisitions, and as a result, Staff has recommended that the City Council pay for half of the PVPLC’s lobbyist costs for one year at a cost of $18,000.
BE IT, THEREFORE, RESOLVED BY THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES:
The following adjustments be made to the FY05-06 budget:
Increase the General fund budget as follows:
NCCP #101-4005-441-32-00 Professional/Technical $ 18,000
PASSED, APPROVED, AND ADOPTED THE 6th DAY OF DECEMBER 2005.
State of California )
County of Los Angeles )ss
City of Rancho Palos Verdes )
I, CAROLYNN PETRU, City Clerk of The City of Rancho Palos Verdes, hereby certify that the above Resolution No. 2005-__ was duly and regularly passed and adopted by the said City Council at regular meeting thereof held on December 6, 2005.