Pasco keeps Shawn Foster as lobbyist
NEW PORT RICHEY – A familiar face will be representing Pasco County as its Tallahassee lobbyist.
Tuesday afternoon, commissioners selected Shawn Foster of Trinity-based Sunrise Consulting Group to lobby on the county’s behalf. Foster is the county’s current lobbyist under a recently expired $50,000-a-year contract. Terms of his hiring, still to be negotiated, will include an apparent raise. Foster proposed a 20 percent increase in his contract to $60,000 annually.
Four commissioners ranked Foster as their top choice followed by the Advocacy Group of Cardenas Partners and Smith, Bryan & Myers. Commission Chairman Ted Schrader had ranked the Advocacy Group – the county’s former lobbying firm – as his top choice with Foster listed as third.
“No disrespect to Mr. Foster, but I want somebody in Tallahassee all the time,’’ Schrader said.
Commissioner Kathryn Starkey, however, offered a different view.
“I definitely want to go with our local guy,’’ she said, but then suggested trying to retain the Advocacy Group as well.
Commissioners turned to their in-house lobbyist, Ralph Lair, for guidance.
“I would say it’s not necessary,’’ Lair said of hiring multiple contract lobbyists.