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The Washington County municipal government is looking to go with another lobbying firm to advocate for the area with the state government in Tallahassee.

County Administrator Jeff Massey brought up wanting to look into working with another firm during a Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) workshop on April 11.

“As you know, we’ve had a lobbyist for a couple of years now with GrayRobinson,” Massey said. “They’ve been responsive when we’ve called them and asked them to be but I don’t feel we’re getting our bang for our buck with what they’re paying them.”

GrayRobinson is paid $45,000 a year for their services.

“That’s a lot of money to not get what you want,” Commissioner Wesley Griffin said. 

The BOCC was open to Massey’s suggestion that they explore options as far as working with another firm. 

“We do have time on the contract but there is a 30-day out,” Massey said of the County’s agreement with GrayRobinson.

Massey said he would like the County’s lobbyist to have a more hands-on approach.

“I just think we need a stronger presence in some areas,” Massey said. “They’re a big company. We’re kind of like a small fish in a big pond for them and I know there’s other lobbyist groups out there that are more engaged on a daily basis with their clients than, probably what we’re getting from GrayRobinson.”

Massey said he had nothing against the people at GrayRobinson and they do respond.

“I sure would like, for a change, to have somebody working on our behalf besides me calling them,” Massey said.

The matter will be added to the consent agenda for a future meeting and put out for a request for qualifications.

“The way the process will work, just like it did last time, is we will put out for the companies,” Massey said. “They will give us their qualifications. We will have a reviewing committee and give you, the Board, the best three candidates. The Board will decide the best candidate.”