Hagerstown to hire a lobbyist

February 06, 2001|By DAN KULIN /Staff Writer

Hagerstown to hire a lobbyist

Hoping to get more from the state, the Hagerstown City Council agreed Tuesday to hire a lobbyist to represent the city in Annapolis.

The council agreed to hire Jack A. Gullo Jr., a lawyer, lobbyist and current mayor of New Windsor, Md.

During a Tuesday council meeting, Gullo said he expected his services to cost the city at least $9,000 for the rest of the current session of the Maryland General Assembly. Details of a contract between the city and Gullo were not discussed.

Mayor Robert E. Bruchey II said a formal council vote to hire Gullo probably will be taken on Feb. 27. Bruchey said the council appeared unanimous in agreeing to hire Gullo.

"I think it's a great idea. It gives us another voice in Annapolis," Bruchey said.

As the city's lobbyist, Gullo would track legislation that could affect Hagerstown and consult with the Mayor and City Council to see if they wanted to take a stand on any bills.


Gullo also would lobby state agencies and the executive branch.

Gullo said it is too late to push for new legislation this year. He said there is still time to lobby for funding in the governor's supplemental budget for projects such as a proposed Civil War museum and a $4.4 million plan to widen alleys and improve parking around the planned University System of Maryland Hagerstown Education Center.

"We have four weeks to try for the governor's supplemental budget," Gullo said.

Councilman Lewis C. Metzner said Gullo's first task should be to find out if it is realistic to expect money for both a museum and the $4.4 million parking plan, or should the city focus on one of those projects.

Councilman J. Wallace McClure asked Gullo what his role would be in relation to the Washington County delegation to the General Assembly.

Gullo said his lobbying would have to be done in conjunction with the delegation.

Councilman William M. Breichner said delegation members have told the council they don't have time to lobby for Hagerstown during the session.

Metzner said the delegation "recommended this to us. The delegation would be very appreciative of this."

Gullo told the council that based on a rate of $200 per hour, and working at least 5 hours a week for the rest of the legislative session, his services would cost $9,000 for this session.

Gullo is a lobbyist for the Alliance of Maryland Dental Plans, a group made up of five dental insurance companies.

He has been mayor of New Windsor in Carroll County since 1993 and has served as president of the Maryland Municipal League and president of the Maryland Mayor's Association.

Gullo said the Maryland cities of Rockville and Takoma Park, and many Maryland counties have lobbyists, although Washington County does not.

The firm for which Gullo works, Funk & Bolton, P.A., has previously represented the city on bond financing and other financial matters.

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