Bob Jamison's contract extended through 2014-15 fiscal year

Several New Castle County council members feel they aren’t getting their money’s worth from an outside hired lobbyist.

On Tuesday afternoon, during a council finance committee session, councilmembers Janet Kilpatrick, 3rd District, and George Smiley, 7th District, expressed their dissatisfaction with lobbyist Bob Jamison.

Jamison was hired last year to work for the county in Dover during crucial budgeting and finance meetings, at a salary of $24,000.

County administration is seeking an additional $24,000 to extend Jamison’s contract through the 2014-15 fiscal season.

Kilpatrick ultimately voted against renewing Jamison’s contract, making the vote at Tuesday’s 11-1-1 in favor of the renewal.

Councilwoman Lisa Diller, 5th District, was not present for the vote.

Kilpatrick said that while $24,000 may not seem like much in the grand scheme, she did not feel that Jamison had maintained enough of a presence at the capital during times when he was needed the most.

“He wasn’t there for the late night (budget) meetings, where things can change at the drop of a hat,” she said, adding that she had obtained that information from another lobbyist who had contacted her.

“We have a lot of things pending down there, at this point, that need to be watched,” Kilpatrick said.

Smiley said that previous county lobbyists kept the council members informed as to what was transpiring in the state capital.

“If you didn’t know better and weren’t involved, you’d think there was no session last year,” Smiley said.

Chief Administrative Officer David Grimaldi said that in the past year, Jamison had helped secure funding for the county’s official shooting range, and would be working towards additional funding for county paramedics.

Tony Gardener of Administrative Services said that Jamison’s contract does not stipulate how frequently or how long Jamison is to spend in Dover.

“It’s more a general contract for lobbying services,” he said.