Manteca may spend $89,000 to retain a Washington, D.C., based lobbying firm credited with saving the city more than $200,000 annually in federal transit funds.
The City Council Tuesday will consider contracting for the services of Van Scoyoc Associates for an additional year. The council meets at 7 p.m. at the Civic Center, 1001 W. Center St.
City Manager Steve Pinkerton in a report to the council noted that the biggest return from the initial year was the pivotal role Van Scoyoc played in successfully fighting the Census Bureau’s efforts to collapse Manteca into the same urbanized area as Stockton and Lodi. Had that happened it would have eliminated the city’s ability to use the federal transit formula for funding Manteca Transit operating exposes as it current does. The city would have lost $200,000 or more a year that would have gone instead to Stockton-Lodi.
Other pluses Pinkerton said the lobbying firm provided for the city included:
• effectively fighting to retain funding for a number of federal programs scheduled for significant cuts including those Manteca accesses for economic development, supplemental police funding, and flood control.
• alerting the city to opportunities to apply for federal grants. Pinkerton noted earmarks are gone at the Congressional level for at least a year. It leaves the only access to federal funds through various agencies that are given lump sums by Congress to award to local projects and programs that meet specific criteria.
• monitoring and advocating, when necessary, issues regarding storm water regulation, wastewater treatment discharge requirements, elimination of transit occupancy taxes, and public pension reform.
The city has taken the stance that it makes more sense in some cases such as storm water to fight increased federal regulations instead of trying to seek federal government help to pay for a portion of the cost of implementing new mandates and then being forced to look elsewhere to fund the balance of the federal mandate.