PALMDALE — The City Council has approved a lengthy list of priorities and legislative issues at the federal level the city is seeking to have promoted by a contracted lobbying firm.
“It’s a huge wish list that we want to take action directly with representatives of the federal government,” Councilman Richard Loa said. “We have a lot of items that I think are hugely important.”
The city retained The Ferguson Group in April 2017 to provide federal advocacy and legislative services, in order to navigate, protect and advance the city’s interests at the federal level, according to the staff report.
“They look after us in Washington, keep us apprised of any kind of legislation coming down. When we go to Washington, they help set the appointments, set the federal agenda,” City Manager James Purtee said. “This does give us a menu to work off of.”
The federal agenda was developed out of a council workshop last year, Mayor Steve Hofbauer said.
“It provides a road map so that when stuff comes up, we’re able to move quickly on it,” he said.
The 2019 federal agenda groups items under four general areas: community, security, economy and infrastructure.
Some items are fairly general, such as supporting funding for a diversity of housing options in Palmdale. Others, particularly under infrastructure, are for specific projects.
“I know it seems like a lengthy list, but … there’s really not anything we can overlook. There’s so much on the horizon,” Mayor Pro Tem Austin Bishop said. “It’s hard to shorten that list or condense it because there’s so many things that are coming to a critical point here.”
Loa suggested focusing on the most important items of the long list.
One item Loa wanted to ensure was included was improvements to the intersection of Rancho Vista Boulevard (Avenue P) and Sierra Highway and the railroad crossing there, a project that “has been in our sights” since his previous tenure on the Council from 2001 to 2005.
This project is included in the agenda under infrastructure needs, Purtee said.
Hofbauer said the federal agenda is a means of providing guidance as to the Council’s priorities for what should be supported as legislation comes up, while specific items of high priority will be selected for those times the city travels to Washington to meet with federal officials or meeting with local representatives.
“Whatever is the priority at the time, we’ll be able to pick them off this list then,” he said.
“It’s a pretty impressive list. It’s pretty amazing the things that are coming down the pike,” Hofbauer said.
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