The Town Council here will contract with its former mayor to serve as a lobbyist for town.
Sam Bridges, 53, a criminal defense attorney in Wake County and also a Garner resident, served as the mayor of Garner from 2001 to 2005.
As a lobbyist, he will “research, guide, represent and advocate for the town on municipal and legislative matters at the local, state and federal level,” according to the contract. His duties will include attending General Assembly sessions and committee meetings, school board and county commissioners meetings, and CAMPO and Town Council meetings.
The contract will Pay Bridges $28,000 a year.
The town received proposals from a couple of individuals, Town Manager Rodney Dickerson said during Tuesday’s Town Council meeting. The town ultimately selected Bridges.
Now that the town has hired a lobbyist, they become a lobbyist principal. Both the town and Bridges are no longer allowed to give any gifts or make political donations to state-level candidates or members of the General Assembly. That also means council members can’t take individual legislators to lunch.
“I think there are some exceptions here, and we need to look at them closely,” Bridges said, “but until we know what those exceptions are, the rule is we go dutch.”
Garner becomes the third Wake County municipality to hire a lobbyist. Both Cary and Raleigh also have one.