City renews IPL lobbying contract at double the cost

The City Council approved a two-year contract extension with Strategic Capitol Consulting to lobby on behalf of Independence Power and Light at the state capitol in Jefferson City.

The proposed contract increases the contract from the current $66,000 per year to $120,000 per year, or $10,000 a month. The current contract expires Oct. 30th.

The lobbying firm is lead by Steve Tilley, a well-connected lobbyist and former Speaker of the House of Representatives. IPL previously did not have its own lobbyist, but stated it needed assistance on major utility issues.

The firm has provided regular reports to the City Council on its lobbying efforts.

The City Council also approved a separate lobbying contract with John Bardgett & Associates which also will be paid $120,000 - an increase from $90,000 under its current contract which expires Aug. 31.

Both lobbying contracts are renewable for a second year.

Another major IPL consulting agreement is about to expire.

The city last year agreed to pay former IPL Director Leon Daggett $220,000 to serve as an "economic development consultant." Duties outlined in his transition agreement include outreach to developers, recommendations on capital projects and long term planning. The city indicates Daggett filed no written reports about his work.

The city also agreed to pay Daggett to attend six different conferences at the city's expense.

His agreement expires at the end of September, but the city has the option to extend the agreement based on mutually agreed to terms.

Daggett was the city's highest paid employee in 2016 and 2017.