For more than a decade, he's had a hand in important deliberations and decisions at both the city and county level Wochit
County commissioners on Tuesday unanimously teed up changes to their lobbying ordinance that would clear up ambiguity on who is required to register and streamline enforcement efforts. 
The proposed language, which will go before a public hearing, comes after recent reporting by the Tallahassee Democrat that highlighted the blurry lines at the intersection of lobbying, private business, political campaigns and public policy.
Commissioner Rick Minor asked for a review of the ordinance and Monday, at a town hall, he said the status quo when it came to lobbying was not longer acceptable.
“Our goals here should be two-fold,” he then added at Tuesday’s commission meeting. “Making sure we reduce ambiguity or misinterpretation, and making sure we’ve got an enforcement process that ensures accountability for the lobbyist, so we know we're going to have full transparency.”
No lobbyist has ever been cited for a violation at the county, said outgoing County Attorney Herb Thiele, who added that any instances that could have resulted in a fine were handled by instead reminding lobbyists to register.
But he described the process, if a lobbyist were to be cited, as “cumbersome.”
It would technically be a violation of the county code with penalties laid out in the general penalties section. It requires a citation to be issued and served by the Leon County Sheriff's Office, with the case assigned to county court and prosecuted by the State Attorney’s Office in Tallahassee.
Minor, in his motion, asked that the county “explore a simplified enforcement process that will not involve so many outside agencies.”
Also to be included in the new ordinance language is:
  • Removing a notarization requirement to register.
  • Including a Q&A section on the county website to help people determine whether they need to register.
  • Creating an online registration portal.
  • Simplifying the definitions of who is a lobbyist.
“If you are being paid by a client to communicate and advocate with the county commission or county employees, you are considered a lobbyist under our new definition,” Minor said.
Commissioner Kirstin Dozier said the change to the ordinance was more of a refinement She wondered whether there have never been any violations because of the process required to file a complaint.
“Our effort here is to remind people and try to get them to register before they come sit down with us,” she said, adding that the Q&A section should remind people they have the right to petition the government.
She asked for clarification on where providing information to commissioners and staff would fall, now an exemption under the current ordinance.