The City of Lighthouse Point has hired the law firm Becker & Poliakoff to provide lobbyist consulting services at the federal, state and local levels. The goal is to procure funding for the city’s major infrastructure projects that are on the horizon, including several bridge replacements.
Becker & Poliakoff – which is headquartered in Fort Lauderdale and also has offices in Washington, D.C. and Tallahassee – works closely with municipalities to help them secure grants and appropriations.
Becker & Poliakoff will represent the City of Lighthouse Point before members of the state and federal legislatures, leaders of executive agencies and county government. The firm will represent the City at public meetings, committee hearings and conferences.
Becker & Poliakoff was chosen from among five companies that responded to a solicitation issued by the City last September. It is the first time the City has procured the services of a lobbyist.
Mayor Kyle Van Buskirk told the City Commission that Becker & Poliakoff’s ability to represent the City at the federal, state and local levels simultaneously sets it apart.
The mayor and City Commission had discussed at several meetings the need to actively pursue grant funding to help address the large expenditures the City is facing with its infrastructure issues. Last August, it was the consensus of the City Commission for city administration to move forward with looking for a lobbyist.
“We’ve got to try at this point, given the dollar figures we’re talking about,” said Commission President Jason Joffe.
Van Buskirk said the City may not see a return on its investment in the lobbying services in the first year, and needs to commit to it for at least two years.
Per an agreement with Becker & Poliakoff approved by the City Commission in November, the City will pay the law firm a monthly fee of $5,000 for an initial term of 12 months. The monthly fee may be increased prior to the potential renewal period at the discretion of the mayor or city administrator.
Becker & Poliakoff will focus on trying to procure funding for the city’s infrastructure improvements, including bridges, paving, stormwater drainage and resiliency (sea level rise) projects. In addition, the lobbying team will look out for the interests of Lighthouse Point in terms of legislation that is being proposed at the federal, state and local levels, such as legislation related to vacation rentals.
Nick Matthews, senior government relations consultant for Becker & Poliakoff, will lead the lobbying team and be the City’s point of contact.
Matthews said the firm will be meeting with the city administrator and department heads to determine their priority issues and develop a tailored lobbying strategy before the 2023 Florida legislative session convenes.
Never miss a Story! Subscribe to our Email Newsletter here
Subscribe to our Print edition here