Hamilton County lobbyist to work longer, get paid more

Hamilton County’s 2016 proposed budget includes a $40,000 increase in pay for the county’s lobbyist, Will Denami. The Times-Free Press reports the bump would bring his salary up to $60,000 annually.

County Mayor Jim Coppinger said it’s not a raise; instead, the county will just be contracting Denami for a longer period of time.

The county historically has paid its lobbyist only while the General Assembly was in session. But now Denami will work between sessions.

“Per month, we are not paying him any more. We are just using him for more months,” Coppinger said. “As large as we are, we have to have somebody up there every day.”

The county’s biggest and most recent lobbying effort aims to gain it a larger share of sales tax revenue collected in municipalities.

Local lawmakers in May said they were mulling a plan that would allow the county to keep more of the sales taxes collected in cities that don’t run their own city-run school systems.