Agenda Item   



                                                                                                                        ASR Control  14-001323




legal entity taking action:

Board of Supervisors

board of supervisors district(s):

All Districts

SUBMITTING Agency/Department:

County Executive Office   (Approved)

Department contact person(s):

Cymantha Atkinson (714) 834-7219 



Mark Carmel (714) 834-2009



Subject:  Amendment #6 to Contract for Washington D.C. Advocacy Services


      ceo CONCUR

County Counsel Review

Clerk of the Board


Approved Agreement to Form




3 Votes Board Majority




    Budgeted: Yes

Current Year Cost: $146,075

Annual Cost: FY 2015-16 $292,150
FY 2016-17 $146,075




    Staffing Impact: No

# of Positions:

Sole Source: Yes

    Current Fiscal Year Revenue: N/A

  Funding Source: Please see Financial Impact section.

County Audit in last 3 years: No



    Prior Board Action: 8/21/2012 #41






Find that the subject activity is not a project as defined by CEQA pursuant to Section 15322 of the CEQA Guidelines.


Exercise the option to renew the current agreement with James F. McConnell, Jr. for Washington, D.C. Federal Advocacy Services.


Approve and execute for Amendment Number Six to Agreement with James F. McConnell, Jr., for Washington, D.C. Federal Advocacy Services for one (1) additional two-year period effective January 1, 2015, to December 31, 2016, at the current cost of $252,150 per year.  The agreement also authorizes payment of up to $40,000 annually for specialized consultant work and authorized expenses for travel and legislation-related meetings and functions, if approved by the County Executive Office, as provided in the Amendment.







Approve and execute Amendment Six to Agreement with James F. McConnell, Jr. for Federal Advocacy Services effective January 1, 2015, through December 31, 2016, in the amount of $252,150 per year, and up to $40,000 annually for specialized services traveling, and legislation-related meeting and function expenses approved by County Executive Offices (CEO) or designee; with the understanding the Federal Advocacy contract will be put out to bid in Summer of 2016.






On August 21, 2012, your Board authorized James F. McConnell to perform Federal legislative advocacy services on behalf of the County from January 1, 2013, to December 31, 2014, with an option to renew the agreement for one (1) additional two-year term with Board approval.


CEO/Legislative Affairs recommends renewing this agreement, which will extend the contract through December 31, 2016. In the summer of 2016, CEO/Legislative Affairs will issue a Request for Proposals for a new contract for Washington DC advocacy services, per Section 3.3-105(2) of the County’s Contract Policy Manual, which limits service contracts to no more than five years without putting the services out to bid.


Mr. McConnell’s compensation under the proposed renewal would remain at the existing contract amount of $252,150 annually ($21,012.50 monthly).  The proposed renewal also retains a payment of no more than $40,000 annually for specialized consultant services and for reasonable and necessary expenses approved by the CEO or designee for travel and legislation-related meetings and functions. 


Mr. McConnell has provided and continues to provide the County of Orange with exemplary service. Mr. McConnell has maintained his liaison with the Congressional delegation and U.S. Senators, as well as with Congressional committees and staff in Washington, D.C. having jurisdiction over areas of concern to the County in furtherance of its Federal program.


During 2013 - 2014, the following areas were of particular significance:


·         Santa Ana River Project:  Mr. McConnell worked with the Army Corps of Engineers (Corps), the Office of Management (OMB) and Budget and the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works, together with Members of the Board of Supervisors who traveled to Washington to lobby on behalf of the Santa Ana River Mainstem Project (SARP).   As a result, SARP was funded by the Administration at $42 million in FY 2014 and $30.8 million in FY 2015; a total of nearly $73 million during the 113th Congress.  These amounts were ratified by Congress in the annual appropriations process for FY 2014 and both House and Senate are in the process of doing do so for FY 2015. 


·         Westminster-East Garden Grove Feasibility Study:  As a result of Mr. McConnell’s continuous lobbying of the Corps, combined with the congressional earmark moratorium, the Corps resumed work on the stalled, on-again off-again Westminster-East Garden Grove Watershed Feasibility Study in 2014.  The Corps’ FY 2014 workplan programmed $300,000 on the study, while OMB requested, and Congress approved, additional FY 2015 funding in the amount of $452,000.  This $752,000 fully funds the study and thus the feasibility study will be completed by the end of FY 2015.  This will allow the proposed project to move forward to a construction authorization, assuming a favorable Chief of Engineers’ report, and if approved by Congress.


·         Aliso Creek Project:  In addition, Mr. McConnell’s lobbying of the Corps and OMB, resulted in the FY 2014 budget resurrecting the dormant Aliso Creek Feasibility Study by providing $400,000 in the FY 2014 workplan, and another $717,000 in FY 2015, for a total of $1,117,000 over the next 15 months, which the Corps says will also complete this study. 


·         Santa Ana River O&M:  In addition, the Corps has also increased funding for Santa Ana River Operation and Maintenance in the FY 2014 workplan, taking the $3,865,000 requested by President and appropriated by Congress, and adding an extra $617,400 for total FY 2014 spending of $4,482,400.  For FY 2015, OMB requested, and Congress approved, $3,942,000, which brings the two year O&M total to $8,424,400. 


Sole Source Justification:   

The County has vigorously and successfully pursued its Washington, D.C. agenda in the 113th Congress.  Orange County has been successful in advocating flood protection, beach erosion, and water quality projects, securing funding for the Santa Ana River Project (SARP).  While considerable work is yet to be done to complete key County projects such as the SARP, the efforts of Mr. McConnell, the Board of Supervisors, and County staff have been an effective partnership in bringing Federal resources into the County to solve major environmental and flood control challenges.


Because Federal resources are a necessity in completing Orange County improvements and bringing tax dollars back home, an effective daily presence in Washington, D.C. and the Congress of the United States is essential.  Such a presence must be someone who is intimately familiar with Orange County projects and objectives and also understands the needs and focus of the Members of Orange County’s Congressional delegation.  Mr. McConnell is uniquely qualified to provide legislative advocacy services to the County of Orange based upon his years of experience in Washington, D.C., his long history of knowledge on Orange County projects, and his understanding of Orange County’s Congressional members and their staffs. He has cultivated the necessary contacts in both Washington and Orange County to perform advocacy duties efficiently, effectively, and expeditiously. 


A completed Sole Source Proprietary Request Form is attached to this ASR.


Compliance with CEQA: The subject activity is not a project as defined by CEQA pursuant to Section 15322 of the CEQA Guidelines.






General Fund:

CEO 017: 42%


Non General Fund:

OC Flood Control District 400: 54%

OC Parks 405: 2%

JWA 280: 2%










Attachment A - 2002 Original Agreement
Attachment B - Amendment 1 - 2004
Attachment C - Amendment 2 - 2006
Attachment D - Amendment 3 - 2008
Attachment E - Amendment 4 - 2010
Attachment F - Amendment 5 - 2012
Attachment G - Amendment 6 - Redlined Version
Attachment H - Amendment 6 - Final w/ Signatures
Attachment I - McConnell Performance Evaluation
Attachment J - McConnell Sole Source Justification