Truckee gets a voice in Sacramento | SierraSun.com

Truckee gets a voice in Sacramento

Scott Hess

Wanting to have more information about legislation and striving for a stronger voice in Sacramento, the Town of Truckee Town Council approved a contract with Emmanuels, Jones and Associates lobbyist firm.

The contract, which is for “$24,000 per year plus expenses not to exceed $1,000,” according to Truckee Town Manager Steve Wright, allows Kenneth Emmanuels and David Jones to become Truckee’s presence and voice in Sacramento.

Wright said in the town council meeting the idea for a town lobbyist had surfaced approximately seven or eight years ago, and Truckee Mayor Ted Owens has mentioned it in the past few years.

He also said the town has talked with other cities over the years, and Emmanuels and Jones seemed like the best firm for the job. “Emmanuels, Jones is very much a city-oriented firm,” Wright said. “They specialize in cities and redevelopment.”

Although the League of California Cities – which advocates, informs and educates all California cities – already represents the Town of Truckee, town staff and the council felt they needed more individual representation.

With 20 current clients, Emmanuels and Jones said it could provide Truckee with quality service, including lobbying for what the town decides is important, as well as providing information about issues the town may not have thought of.

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Wright and Owens both mentioned Truckee has missed opportunities in Sacramento in the past. They said with a lobbyist in Sacramento, the town would not miss the important issues.

While it is one of the smallest cities Emmanuels and Jones represent, Wright feels Truckee can benefit greatly from an independent lobbyist. “The State of California is always doing something that impacts cities,” he said. “Without a physical presence in Sacramento, it is difficult to track what is going on there.”

Emmanuels and Jones brought up five key issues – three dealing with CalTrans, one dealing with affordable housing and the last dealing with riverfront rehabilitation – they felt were most important to Truckee, and which they would begin working on first.

Also, Emmanuels and Jones said it will help develop a legislative and administrative agency program, represent the town in state hearings, inform the town of relevant state bills, help with a bill the town sponsors and help develop a relationship between Truckee and the Senate and Assembly Local Government and Appropriations committees, the Governor’s office and the Department of Finance.

Wright said there were also financial opportunities, mostly in the form of grants, that a lobbyist could get for Truckee.

“They are already doing some follow-up work on the budget process,” Wright said. “They have already been helping.”