Chapter 2.64
MUNICIPAL ADVOCATES

Sections:

2.64.010    Purpose and intent.

2.64.020    Definitions.

2.64.030    Exemptions.

2.64.040    Registration of municipal advocates.

2.64.050    Registration requirements.

2.64.060    Powers and duties of the city clerk.

2.64.070    Disclosure.

2.64.080    Municipal advocacy by former city officers or employees.

2.64.090    Violation and penalty.

2.64.100    Severability.

2.64.010 Purpose and intent.

The city recognizes that municipal advocates do not have public authority, but they may have significant influence on the city, and the public has a right to know who is being paid to influence the decisions being made by the city, and any financial relationships between those who are being influenced and those who are trying to influence them.

The purpose and intent of this chapter is to provide a procedure whereby persons acting as municipal advocates are required to register and provide sufficient information so that complete disclosure of principals and other parties in interest represented by such municipal advocates may become a public record for the information of the city council and the general public. It is not the intent of this chapter to discourage nor prohibit the exercise of constitutional rights. (Ord. 1271 § 1, 1994)

2.64.020 Definitions.

A. The following persons are deemed to be municipal advocates and shall be subject to the provisions of this chapter:

1. Municipal advocate. Any person, business entity or other organization, including an individual contract lobbyist, which contracts for economic consideration to communicate with any officer or employee of the City of San Luis Obispo for the purpose of influencing local legislative or discretionary action on behalf of any other person.

2. In-house municipal advocate. Any business or organization, any of whose employees or members, as a part of their employment, communicate with any officer or employee of the City of San Luis Obispo for the purpose of influencing local legislative or discretionary action on behalf of that business or organization.

B. The requirements of this chapter shall not apply where employees or members indicate affiliation or identification with a business or organization, but do not represent the official position of the business or organization. (Ord. 1271 § 1, 1994)

2.64.030 Exemptions.

The term “municipal advocate” shall not include:

A. A public official or employee acting in an official capacity;

B. A person representing a nonprofit organization applying for a grant-in-aid from the City of San Luis Obispo;

C. A person specifically invited by the city council, or by any board or commission, for the purpose of giving testimony in aid of the body extending the invitation;

D. Any person, business entity, or other organization which submits a bid or proposal to the city in response to a solicitation initiated by the city;

E. Any newspaper or other regularly published periodical, radio or television station (including any individual who owns, publishes or is employed by any such newspaper, periodical, radio or television station) which in the ordinary course of business publishes news items, editorials or other comments or paid advertisements which directly or indirectly urge action upon municipal decisions, if such newspaper, periodical, radio or television station or individual engages in no further or other activities in connection with action upon such municipal decision;

F. A person acting on behalf of others in the performance of a duty or service, which duty or service lawfully can be performed for such other only by an attorney, architect, or engineer licensed to practice in the State of California. (Ord. 1271 § 1, 1994)

2.64.040 Registration of municipal advocates.

No municipal advocate shall communicate with any officer or employee of the city for the purpose of influencing local legislative or discretionary action on behalf of any other person without first registering with the city clerk. (Ord. 1271 § 1, 1994)

2.64.050 Registration requirements.

A. At the time of registration, each municipal advocate shall file with the city clerk the following

1. The full name and city of residence of the municipal advocate;

2. The name, address and phone number of the principal place of business of the municipal advocate;

3. The occupation of the municipal advocate. If the filer is a business or organization, a specific description of the business or organization in sufficient detail to inform the reader of the nature and purpose of the business or organization;

4. The name, address and phone number of each current client subject to the provisions of this chapter;

5. The proposed local legislative or discretionary action the municipal advocate is employed to support or oppose, and the client on whose behalf the municipal advocate is employed for each proposed local legislative or discretionary action;

6. Any other information required by the city clerk necessary to carry out the purposes and provisions of this chapter.

B. All information required under this section shall be filed with the city clerk on forms provided by the city clerk. Filing may be in person or by mail. The individual who files shall swear to the accuracy and completeness of the information under penalty of perjury. (Ord. 1271 § 1, 1994)

2.64.060 Powers and duties of the city clerk.

A. The city clerk shall have the authority to develop all forms and procedures necessary to carry out the purposes and provisions of this chapter.

B. The city clerk shall issue a “notice of registration required” upon the written request of any officer of the city if there is a reasonable basis to conclude that the requirement to register pursuant to Section 2.64.040 has not been met. Any person who in good faith and on reasonable grounds believes that compliance with this chapter is not required by reason of being exempt under Section 2.64.030, or for other cause, shall not be in violation of this chapter if, within fifteen days after receipt of notice from the city clerk, that person either complies or furnishes satisfactory evidence to the city clerk to establish that said person is exempt from registration. (Ord. 1271 § 1, 1994)

2.64.070 Disclosure.

Any person required to register under this chapter who speaks at a public meeting or public hearing before the city council or any board, commission, committee, or official of the city for the purpose of influencing local legislative or discretionary action on behalf of any other person shall first orally disclose that said person is registered as a municipal advocate pursuant to this chapter, and identify the party or parties represented. (Ord. 1271 § 1, 1994)

2.64.080 Municipal advocacy by former city officers or employees.

No city officer or employee shall, after the termination of service or employment with the city, appear as a municipal advocate before any board, commission, committee or agency of the city, including the city council, in relation to any case, proceeding, application, or contract, in which he or she personally participated during the period of his or her service or employment, or which was under his or her active consideration, for a period of two years from the date of termination of his or her employment with the city. (Ord. 1271 § 1, 1994)

2.64.090 Violation and penalty.

Any person who violates the provisions of this chapter shall be guilty of an infraction, and subject to the penalty provided for in Chapter 1.12 of this code. (Ord. 1271 § 1, 1994)

2.64.100 Severability.

If any provision, clause, sentence or paragraph of this chapter or the application thereof to any person or circumstances shall be held invalid, such invalidity shall not affect the other provisions of this chapter which can be given effect without the invalid provision or application, and to this end the provisions of this chapter are declared to be severable. (Ord. 1271 § 1, 1994)