County Seeks Its Own Group Of Lobbyists
By Samantha Joseph
Miami-Dade commissioners want to hire primary lobbying groups that will focus on representing the county at the state and federal levels.
The groups still could subcontract with consultants to represent the county’s interests.
The idea is being championed by Commissioner Rebeca Sosa, who said the current system creates competition among lobbyists and is not in the county’s best interests.
The current system of multiple lobbyists "is too inefficient," outgoing Commission Chairwoman Barbara Carey-Shuler said. "I’ve been to Washington (and) Tallahassee, and people were running around representing us, and you don’t even know who they are."
Miami-Dade County spends more money on lobbyists for state legislative issues than Palm Beach and Broward counties combined, public record shows. This year, the county spent $725,000 on state lobbyists, compared to $150,000 by Broward and $125,000 by Palm Beach.
Miami-Dade’s bill for federal lobbyists was almost $1.2 million.
"We have seen consultants that have been hired for the county that we commissioners don’t even know who they are," Ms. Sosa said.
County commissioners decided Tuesday that they wanted a change and will release a request for qualifications from a new pool of lobbyists.
"It was my experience that there were too many cooks," Commissioner Katy Sorenson said. "There are lots of people involved. We’re paying lots of fees, but they don’t want to communicate with each other."