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Posted on May 22, 2016
The City of Tallahassee’s comparatively high spending on state lobbying is being cited by lobbyists representing Leon County government as a justification for a pay raise.
Capitol Alliance Group has been the County’s state lobbyist since 2008 and is now seeking a $20,000 increase in their annual contract which expires in September. The current contract pays Capitol Alliance Group $50,000.
In the request submitted by Jeff Sharkey, the managing partner of Capitol Alliance Group, to Vince Long, the County Administrator, Mr. Sharkey writes about their lobbying successes and then speaks of the low fees the group has charged over the last three years in justifying an increase.
Mr. Sharkey offers support for his “low fee” argument by writing, “By comparison, we would note that the City’s legislative lobbying contract is more than two and half times the county’s contract amount.”
Mr. Sharkey seems to be correct in stating Capitol Alliance Group fees are lower.
In 2015 TR did a story comparing local government lobby fees. The comparison revealed that the fees paid by Leon County government were the lowest. The table is included below and the full report can be read here.
Current State Lobbying Expense
Number of State Lobbyists
|City of Tallahassee|
|City of Lakeland|
|City of Gainesville|
The City of Tallahassee pays $130,000 per year while Lakeland spends $56,580, Gainesville spends $60,000 and the City of Tallahassee’s sister government, Leon County, spends $50,000.
The issue is scheduled to be addressed at the Leon County Board of County Commissioners meeting on Tuesday, May 24th.