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On the Agenda: City Re-Ups Its Lobbyist Contract

Rail officials will also give a presentation on safety improvements being made at the Gaithersburg MARC station.

On the Agenda: City Re-Ups Its Lobbyist Contract

The Mayor and City Council tonight will consider renewing their lobbying retainer with former State Senator Larry Levitan in a no-bid contract.

The year-by-year contract will cost the city $35,000, but Levitan promises to push for legislation that will benefit the city, he says in an Oct. 17 letter.

In his letter to the city, Levitan promises to pursue the restoration of highway user revenues, support funding for the completion of the Watkins Mill Road interchange, support amending ethics laws to allow a tiered approach for municipal officials, support legislation allowing municipalities to advertise public meetings on their own websites, support amending the statute on who can participate in HDC matters, allowing certified non-sworn individuals review speed camera tickets, as well as other issues that arise.

The contract will be paid out in seven monthly payments of $5,000, the letter stipulates.

Levitan is a partner at Rifkin, Livingston, Levitan & Silver LLC, a law firm with offices in Bethesda, Baltimore, Annapolis and Upper Marlboro.

"Senator Levitan and his staff have been extremely helpful in securing passage of bills such as the Mandatory Direct Deposit Bill, Traffic Citations Bill, the Hotel/Motel Tax Bill and numerous bond bills," according to city staff. "Additionally, Senator Levitan and his staff worked extremely closely with staff on any issues that may arise affecting the City’s interests during the legislative session."

Also on tonight's agenda, the Mayor and Council will receive a presentation from MARC, MTA and CSX officials about the short-term safety improvements made to the Gaithersburg rail station.

A report on the safety of the station compiled by rail officials identified 10 short and long term improvements that could be made—most of which focus on changing pedestrian behavior.

Tonight's presentation will discuss the remaining safety short-term improvements.

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