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Branson Hires New Lobbyist

The city of Branson has hired a professional lobbyist to represent its interest in Jefferson City.

KSMU's Erika Brame reports.

After approximately a year without a professional lobbyist the Branson Board of Aldermen has decided to make some changes.

It has chosen lobbyist R.J. Scherr and Associates for a five year contract with the city.

According to Jerry Adams, Public Relations Officer for Branson, a professional lobbyist will open new doors for the city.

"But by getting a professional lobbyist he has the contacts, not only with state legislatures but obviously the contact with state directors of some of the important departments, like the Department of Natural Resources, or the Department of Transportation. We have a lot of transportation issues and we have a lot of environmental issues here in Branson."

The contract is a $28,000 a year renewable contract for the next 3 years with a 5% increase for the last 2 years.

The funds for this contract have already been pulled from the Branson General Fund for the 2008 Fiscal Year.

Adams says the city has already made plans for what it wants this new lobbyist to do for the Branson Community.

"Preparing periodic reports on the status of legislation that is moving through the legislature that impacts Branson and he will also be providing us with weekly reports of bills he thinks might be affecting Branson."

Randy Scherr, owner of R.J Scherr and Associates, says his long-time work in Jefferson City will bring experience to issues affecting Branson in the State Legislature.

"I think our background probably brings a level of experience on the issues that are important to the city, with respect to economic development, taxation, and sovereign immunity."

The Board of Aldermen will go through the final steps of approval at the next meeting.

For KSMU News I'm Erika Brame.