Anticipating a need for state assistance in the coming year, Smyrna City Council voted this week to hire a lobbyist to represent the city in the Georgia Legislature and executive branch.
Smyrna will pay Kash Trivedi, a city resident and co-founder of lobbying firm Terminus South, $5,000 per month for his services from August 2020 through August 2021. He will focus on “procuring state funds and assistance,” per the contract approved by City Council members.
The website of Terminus South touts its founders’ ties to Gov. Brian Kemp — of whose gubernatorial campaign they were early supporters — and experience in the state appropriations process.
Councilman Tim Gould said Smyrna would simply follow in the footsteps of other municipalities in metro Atlanta.
“I think it’s an important step for our city to increase our voice and influence down at the state Capitol,” he said. “Cobb County has a presence in the General Assembly during the session, Marietta, Dunwoody, Brookhaven and countless other cities. So it’s really time for the city of Smyrna to do the same.”
State representatives have too much on their plate to focus on the needs of any particular city, he told the MDJ.
As of Monday, there were no specific projects for which Trivedi will be asked to secure state funding, Gould said.
“But you can kind of look at the horizon and see what might be coming down the road,” he said, citing the possibility of public transportation along South Cobb Drive as an example.
He said the council will know if it was money well spent if Trivedi can identify hard funding sources that exceed the cost of his hiring.
“That would make the decision very easy,” he said.
The council’s vote was unanimous.