Commission to look at hiring lobbyist
County commissioners will vote Thursday on a proposal to hire a lobbyist to represent the county in the 1997 Nevada Legislature on issues including the proposed county spilt and the need for state funding for flood damage, according to the agenda.
The proposal calls for an expenditure of up to $50,000 from the general fund contingency, according to County Manager Dan Holler.
Holler said the lobbyist is being considered because legislative issues of importance to the county are beyond the ability of staff or individual commissioners to respond to effectively.
He said a lobbyist is needed to keep up with the daily or weekly changes at the Legislature.
“We do some tracking (of bills) through the Internet,” he said. “But it is not cost effective or prudent for us to spend a bunch of time up there (in Carson City).”
Holler said commissioner Jacques Etchegoyhen is compiling a list of candidates for the position and will present them to the board.
The commission agendized the lobbyist proposal at the Feb. 6 meeting with the discussion of the proposed county split of Lake residents by the Tahoe Citizens Committee.
Commissioners were in agreement with a letter from Mark Neddenriep, president of the Business Council of Douglas County, that was read at the meeting.
“The commission needs to hire a professional lobbyist to represent Douglas County residents living both at the Lake and the Valley.” Neddenriep said. “The direction to this individual should be to represent our interest in the legislation by making sure accurate and detailed information is presented and discussed by the decision makers.”
Sandy Cable, executive director of the council, added in a telephone interview Monday that the intention of the proposed lobbyist is not do battle with the TCC but to make viable alternatives to solve problems.
Harvey Wittemore is lobbying for the TCC.
The proposed lobbyist would also aid the county in its effort to obtain funds from the state for Carson River repairs.
The county needs the funds to sponsor the federal Emergency Watershed Protection program and match the EWP’s 75 percent contributions to make repairs to the river, Holler said.
According to Dick Mirgon, the county’s director of communication, river damages are estimated at $10 million.