As we turn the page on 2021, one can’t help but wonder how much longer this pandemic will continue for. It has consumed the efforts and resources of municipalities for nearly two full years, and it has been understandably difficult to do anything but put your head down and work toward brighter days. With that reality and host of competing priorities, a lobbyist registry may indeed be the furthest thing from the minds of council or municipal staff, but it doesn’t have to be. In celebration of a new year, let’s bust some common myths about lobbyist registries!
MYTH: Lobbyist registries prevent/restrict council and staff from engaging with stakeholders
FACT: False. Lobbyist registries simply record that the meeting happened for transparency. Lobbying is a critical part of the democratic process, and registries simply ensure the public knows how decisions are made. These types of registries are not intended to capture normal conversations with constituents, but instead those with groups and companies who have interests (financial or otherwise) in the outcome of a decision.
MYTH: Lobbyist registries are expensive
FACT: True, until we came along. We created a shared service lobbyist registry that is attainable for municipalities of all sizes – a flat annual fee of $9,250.
MYTH: Only large municipalities need a lobbyist registry
FACT: False. While larger municipalities have led the way, lobbyist registries are becoming more and more mainstream for smaller municipalities.
MYTH: A lobbyist registry creates additional administrative work for municipalities
FACT: True, if done poorly. A well constructed lobbyist registry should be on auto-pilot, creating very little work for a municipality.
MYTH: A lobbyist registry is difficult to use
FACT: True, again, if done poorly. We created Lobby Registry with simple and intuitive functionality.