The city of Frederick has paid more than $75,000 for lobbying efforts on behalf of the downtown hotel and conference center in the past three years.

The city released accounting records Friday, after a Freedom of Information Act request, detailing its contributions to the Frederick County Chamber of Commerce’s lobbying fees since 2014.

Greenwill Consulting Group, an Annapolis-based lobbying firm, is under contract with the Chamber of Commerce. Before 2014, payments for some lobbying efforts were made solely by the chamber, Richard Griffin, the city’s director of economic development, said.

For the past three years, the city has shared the cost — with other partners including the county government, Tourism Council of Frederick County and Downtown Frederick Partnership.

Breakdowns for the payments in 2014 — which came just after the 2014 General Assembly session and just before the start of the 2015 session — show that the city gave a majority share of funding that year: $50,000 of an $80,000 total.

The breakdown of contributions by entity were not included in the documents covering payments for the 2016 General Assembly session. But county government paid at least $5,000 toward lobbying efforts, according to a separate Public Information Act request.

The city paid $13,500 for lobbying in October, before the start of the General Assembly session in January. Their most recent payment was made last week, when an additional $12,000 was sent to the chamber, according to the records.

According to a disclosure filed with the Maryland State Ethics Commission, the chamber paid three Greenwill lobbyists a total of $26,800 since November.

Follow Danielle E. Gaines on Twitter: @danielleegaines.

Danielle E. Gaines covers politics and government in Frederick County, splitting her time between Winchester Hall and The State House. Having grown up in Illinois, she lived in New York and California before settling in Maryland.

(8) comments

Cowell

Disgusting ! Take it back to simple reasoning. Take care of yoir family financially. Take care of your neighborhood. Take care of your town or city!! Brian Griffin is overpaid! Let him go!

matts853

Green Will is a KLY contributor. So are the Plamondons. Quid pro quo people. This stuff has to stop.

petersamuel

It's one thing for the Chamber of Commerce to lobby for taxpayer subsidies for this project, but they've taken this to the next level -- getting city and county taxpayers to subsidize their lobbying for the subsidies. This is corporate welfare/crony capitalism squared. Shame on the elected officials who allowed this.

jerseygrl42

actually , it was the TAXPAYERS of the city of Frederick who paid out $75,000 on this very bad idea...what a waste and I'll bet no one asked any of them ...

pilotguy299

Something is either a good idea or it isn't. If you have to spend money to convince someone that it is a good idea, then maybe it isn't.

jthompson

Besides the Chamber of Communists (sorry, make that "Commerce"), the State Ethics Commission's "Lobbying List" indicates that the Greenwill lobbying firm also represents: i) Cohen Enterprises, i.e. Randy Cohen, who I believe is opposed to the DHCC; and ii) the Rocky Gap Resort, another "economic development" flop.

FreddyFred

If the hotel is so great why did our city hall just blow $75k of our tax dollars trying to convince us all how great it is?

DickD

How much, if any, was used to lobby the Youngs?

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