By Matt Youngfrau
MONTICELLO August 9, 2002 After several months of debate, the Sullivan County Legislature finally terminated its lobbying contract with Bolton-St. Johns. The decision was made late yesterday during the Legislature's Executive Committee meeting.
For approximately three years, Bolton-St. Johns, a consulting/lobbying firm out of New York City and Albany, had been under contract with the county to provide advisement and lobbying services at the state legislature level regarding casino gaming.
The resolution passed yesterday states that the Legislature feels Bolton-St. Johns has not performed according to the agreement. Some of the issues that had been raised in recent months concerned Bolton-St. Johns representing the Unkechaug Tribe (who are looking to have a high stakes bingo parlor at the Apollo Plaza, which the county is against), Bolton-St. Johns lack of awareness of recent gambling legislation being passed, not reporting to County Manager Dan Briggs, and not having an itemized bill of their services.
The county had been paying Bolton $5,000 a month for their services, but very little of their activities were made public to citizens or even legislators. Oral reports were given directly to former Legislature Chair Rusty Pomeroy.
In the contract, the county was allowed to terminate the agreement with 30 days notice. The resolution passed yesterday gave that 30-day termination notice.
The resolution passed the committee unanimously. And the legislators actually cheered after it passed.
It must still be approved by the board at their monthly meeting next Thursday, but since the Executive Committee consists of all nine legislators, it is anticipated that the resolution will become official without difficulty on that day.