Cherry Point support group hires lobbying firms

Published: Thursday, August 21, 2014 at 04:47 PM.

Allies for Cherry Point’s Tomorrow has hired lobbyists to work on the state and federal level to support the base and the Fleet Readiness Center East aircraft repair facility.

Marc Finlayson, managing consultant for ACT, said the organization’s Board of Directors voted unanimously on two lobbying contracts that start on Sept. 1.

The federal lobbying contract went to three firms, Ward and Smith in New Bern, The Franklin Partnership, and Robison International. Jointly, the three firms will be paid $14,000 per month.

At the state level, Ward and Smith, which has had a long relationship with ACT, was retained for $12,000 per month.

“I think it’s very positive,” said Jimmy Sanders, ACT’s vice chairman. “We have had a relationship with these folks over the years and have a lot of confidence in the team, and I think we’re going to see a lot of positive things come from it.”

Finlayson said a committee worked for more than a month to choose the firms. Five proposals were reviewed.

“The three that the committee chose to interview had the most Cherry Point experience,” Finlayson said. “The whole thing took the better part of a month and every proposal was read very thoroughly. Everyone gave it their best shot.”

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