City could bring back federal lobbyist

Public meeting scheduled Dec. 21
Dec 19, 2017

Two weeks after a contentious 4-3 City Council vote that scrubbed a federal lobbyist from Edmonds’ approved 2018 budget, the position is back on the table.

The city, which held its last regularly scheduled council of the month Dec. 5, has called a special meeting for 5 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 21, to vote on two ordinances: one for $72,000 to retain the lobbyist and $200,00 for potential open space acquisition.

“There is interest in reconsidering the lobbyist and adding the $200,000 to create a line item within the General Fund that could serve as funding for potential open space acquisition,” Economic Development Director Patrick Doherty said.

“As for the lobbyist, as with other years, it will continue to be considered a one-time expenditure, which means that it is proposed, reviewed and considered each year until such time – if ever – that it could be made an ongoing part of the budget.”

It was Councilmember Mike Nelson who requested removing the lobbyist from the city’s general fund. He voted against it, along with Councilmembers Adrienne Fraley-Monillas, Diane Buckshnis and Kristiana Johnson.

Nelson said that the lobbyist, Tim Lovain, has done some work for the city but, due to the current Congress and federal administration, he did not foresee any significant revenue coming to the city.

Nelson said he was skeptical about a city of Edmonds’ size retaining a person for this purpose on a regular basis, but he could possibly support retaining a person on a specific project basis.

Mayor Dave Earling was clearly upset with the vote, and maintained that the federal lobbyist was needed to assist the city in pursuing funds for further redevelopment of the Highway 99 corridor, as well as to pursue funds for the Edmonds Street Waterfront Connector and represent the city in support or opposition of federal legislation of concern to Edmonds.

On Tuesday, Nelson said he and Earling had been discussing the entire budget process.

“After some discussion, it was clear we wanted to hold a public meeting to address some outstanding issues,” Nelson said. “I hope we can potentially reach an amicable resolution to the 2018 budget.”

 

 

 

 

 

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