The Oak Ridge City Council has unanimously agreed to cut the amount spent each year on state and federal lobbying in Nashville and Washington, D.C., by about $83,000.
Pay for the federal lobbying firm, The Ferguson Group of Washington, D.C., will be reduced from $102,000 per year to $30,000–at an hourly rate of $425 per hour. Once the firm reaches the $30,000 cap, the city manager would have to approve extra hours.
Pay for the state lobbying firm, Bill Nolan and Associates of Oak Ridge, will be reduced from $55,800 per year to $45,000 in the fiscal year that starts July 1. Nolan’s pay will vary depending upon the time of the year.
During the discussion over Nolan’s contract on Monday, City Council member Anne Garcia Garland said she didn’t have a good understanding of the lobbyist’s’ work when she ran for Council, but now she understands the value of having someone represent the city who is knowledgeable about state government and knows how to interact with Tennessee officials.
“I really think we get our money’s worth,” Garcia Garland said.
During the discussion over The Ferguson Group’s contract, City Council member Ellen Smith said she appreciates the city’s effort to move from a retainer to a specific-services contract.
See previous story here.
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