TO: Mayor Wythe and Homer City Council
FROM: Walt Wrede
SUBJECT: Lobbying Priorities Workshop
DATE: January 9, 2013
The Council scheduled a workshop prior to its regular meeting on January 14th to discuss the City’s lobbying priorities and strategy. The idea for the workshop emerged out of the discussions the Council had regarding the renewal of the lobbying contract with Linda Anderson. The purpose of the workshop is twofold: 1) to discuss the City’s lobbying priorities and strategy and 2) To discuss ways to improve the City’s communication protocol and working relationship with the lobbyist to our mutual benefit.
I spoke with Linda on the phone on Tuesday January 8th to get her input on these two topics. We had a very good discussion which I think was helpful to both of us. She understands where the Council is trying to go and provided a number of good suggestions. I spoke with the Mayor later and she suggested that a good way to proceed would be for the Council to discuss these issues first among themselves and then have a follow-up meeting with Linda later. Everyone agrees that it is important to be clear and precise about priorities and expectations.
The purpose of this memo is to help frame the discussion and get the Council started with some suggestions. Since we only have an hour, I am hoping this memo will help us launch right the matter at hand. This is by no means an exhaustive list.
Suggested Lobbying Priorities
• The C.I.P. List: Be on the lookout for funding opportunities of all kinds to support the City’s capital priorities.
• The Fish Tax Bill: Explore the possibility of getting movement there.
• Possible Statewide Harbor Bond Package: Be sure the City has project(s) included in any bond package.
• Loans for Gas Conversions and Hood-Ups: This bill will likely re-emerge.
• Re-appropriation: Based upon conversations Council will have later, a re-appropriation of a legislative grant may be requested.
• PERS Terminations Studies: Continue work with Senate leadership and our new Senator on this topic.
• Cruise Ships: Marketing Plan and Outreach
• Legislative and Administration Issues as identified by City
Working Relationship and Communication
This section includes things that Linda and Yuri can do to assist the Council and things that the City can do to assist them.
• Regular Lobbyist Activity Reports: The City Manager’s Report to contain a lobbyist report at each meeting during the session. It could be in writing, over the phone, or by video. Lobbyist to report in detail on all activities on City’s behalf including issues worked on and legislators and others visited.
• Regular Opportunities for Direct Interaction: A teleconference or video conference on a regular basis to exchange information.
• Feedback on Legislation: Yuri provides regular reports on legislation that he believes may affect Homer. The reports are distributed to Department Heads and the Council. We should provide a coordinated response to those reports so that the Lobbyist can narrow her focus and work on legislation that is truly important to Homer.
• The City can do a better job of alerting the Lobbyist to opportunities or information that it may have access to that comes from contacts with other Cities, professional associations, etc.
• The Council should develop a protocol for establishing priorities and communicating with a unified voice.