By Aaron Aupperlee, city editor
BARSTOW — The city will be looking for a new person to bring the concerns of Barstow to Sacramento.
The City Council voted unanimously Monday night to cancel an existing contract with Nick Medeiros for state lobbying services and to put that position out to bid.
Council member Julie Hackbarth-McIntyre, who along with Mayor Lawrence Dale requested that the Council review the contract, said the decision to look for a new lobbyist was not made because the Council was unhappy with Medeiros. She felt that the contract, which was last updated in 1994, and the position needed to be examined.
The city paid Medeiros $2,500 a month to represent the interests of the city to members of the state legislature and other state government agencies. Medeiros has been the city’s state lobbyist since 1989.
Medeiros said he was not surprised that Council did not re-approve the contract. He said the Council has done this before. In 2004, the City Council voted 3-2 to look for a new lobbyist. Medeiros re-applied for the job and was awarded to the contract. Medeiros will be able to re-apply for the position this time as well.
Busy with the state’s budget crisis, Medeiros said he has not thought about whether to put in for the position again or not. “I really haven’t decided yet,” he said. “It’s up to the City Council.”
According to past reports, Medeiros lobbied hard to get a Veterans Home of California built in Barstow in 1997. Of late, Medeiros worked on the Los Coyotes and Big Lagoon Indian casino project for Barstow at the state level. The two tribes wanted to build a casino in Barstow instead of their own reservations. The compacts giving Barstow an Indian casino did not pass the state legislature in 2007, effectively killing the project.
Hackbarth-McIntyre said that the project’s failure had nothing to do with Council’s decision Monday night. She attributed the legislative defeat to the other Southern California gaming tribes.
“I think we can chalk that up to the big tribes,” she said.
The city is starting to look for new projects to be brought the state legislature, Hackbarth-McIntyre said. She said the Council is developing a new list of projects, objectives and goals and hopes to be able to send out the list when the position goes out for bid.
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