Time to terminate Townsend

By Jack Dean | Item #8 on tomorrow night’s Council meeting agenda is a proposed four-month extension of the contract with Townsend Public Affairs — the city’s lobbyist — for $5,000 per month.

Rather than extend it, the Council should terminate it.

Last August, the City Council voted to oppose SB 714 — a bill by state Senator Josh Newman that would interfere with years (decades, actually) of negotiating and cooperating with the owner of West Coyote Hills and would, in effect, be a state take-over of the property.

Below is the letter of opposition sent by the Fullerton City Council to Senator Newman:

Note that this letter was sent to Senator Newman last August after the Council had been blind-sided by SB 714 . Townsend had not kept the Council informed about the planned legislation. Plus, Townsend’s staff member assigned to Fullerton, Cori Williams, had colluded with Assemblymember Sharon Quirk-Silva, Councilmember Doug Chaffee, and enviro-obstructionist Angela Lindstrom on the bill and purposely kept the Council out of the loop until after the legislation had already been introduced. It made for a pretty heated discussion at that August 1st meeting.

So the Council immediately sent this letter of opposition to Senator Newman.

But in checking up on the status of the bill in February — six months later — I was startled to see this summary of opposition/support by the Office of Senate Floor Analyses stating that no opposition to SB 714 had been registered:

No Opposition Received?
Isn’t it the job of our $60,000-a-year lobbyist to monitor communications like this and make sure that the city’s position — especially on an important issue like West Coyote Hills — is accurately reported to members of the Legislature?

Townsend Public Affairs should have been fired last August. Their fecklessness should not be rewarded with an extended contract now. It’s time to terminate Townsend.

You can download the City of Fullerton’s letter of opposition to SB 714 here.

You can download the four-page Senate Rules Committee analysis of SB 714 here.

This entry was posted in 29th State Senate District, Bruce Whitaker, Josh Newman, SB 714, Townsend Public Affairs. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Time to terminate Townsend

  1. George Clemens says:

    Did Council’s letter elicit a reply from Senator Newman, specifically in regard to its cited examples of how his actions “circumvent the public process and public comments”? To that end, did responsibility for the accurate reporting of this opposition statement ultimately lie with Newman given the Office of Senate Floor Analyses–and the public at large–entrusts each senator to provide a full accounting of all such letters (and calls) addressed to them about proposed legislation?

  2. Josh Ferguson says:

    That’s a great catch. It’s probably too much to hope that the council will actually vote to terminate.

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