The hiring of a federal lobbyist was approved by the Chino city council Tuesday despite objections from Mayor Eunice Ulloa that the council was not given a proposal containing a list of projects, expectations, and direction.
The mayor cast the lone no vote after stating that the $15,000 cost for David Turch and Associates was not in the budget and that the idea to hire a lobbyist was brought forward by just two councilmen.
“In the future, the whole council needs to consider agreements,” she said.
Councilmen Glenn Duncan and Tom Haughey, who visit Washington, D.C. seeking federal funds, proposed the lobbyist in anticipation of a $1 trillion federal infrastructure program for freeways, highways, and roads.
“I brought this forward because there is a lot of talk in Washington about public safety, transportation, and infrastructure,” Councilman Haughey said. “Everyone will start grabbing lobbyists as soon as they find out that funds will be available for cities.”
Councilman Duncan said the city needs support services because it cannot validate everything going on in Washington, D.C. “We’re talking about a trillion dollar infrastructure bill. That’s huge. Maybe we can get some money for Pine Avenue and complete that roadway,” Mr. Duncan said.
Councilman Earl Elrod agreed that a lobbyist is needed but not the David Turch firm. “He didn’t do very much for us when he was hired the last time,” said Mr. Elrod. “That’s why we got rid of him, because he wasn’t producing.”
Mr. Haughey said lobbyists as a whole weren’t producing results during that time period.
Mrs. Ulloa and Mr. Elrod suggested that the city study the results when the three-month contract has ended and allow other firms to submit business proposals.