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Roseville city officials lobby for water rights on Capitol Hill

Six representatives visit Washington D.C. for annual Cap-to-Cap
By: Sena Christian, The Press Tribune
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Six representatives from the city of Roseville traveled to Washington D.C. to lobby on behalf of local initiatives during the annual Cap-to-Cap.

Nearly 300 business and community leaders joined the 42nd annual lobbying effort, held April 21 to 24 and organized by Sacramento Metro Chamber of Commerce, to advocate issues of importance to the six-county region such as water rights.

Roseville's contingency included Mayor Pauline Roccucci, Councilwoman Carol Garcia, Councilman John Allard and Communications Director Megan MacPherson. Government Relations Analyst Sean Bigley and Engineering Manager Kelye McKinney, both of Environmental Utilities, also attended.

The cost to the city was $3,295 per person for registration, hotel, airfare and some ground transportation and meals.

Garcia, who served as honorary co-chair for the event, said the networking and advocacy that occurs on Capitol Hill can't be replicated in phone calls.

"In any scenario, to accomplish anything in life, it's best to do face-to-face and look them in the eye and tell them what you want to see happen," Garcia said.

Roseville's priorities largely centered on water resources, civic amenities, community development, workforce and education and transportation. Representatives from the city broke out into teams, which met with legislators - or, often, their staff - and various agencies and committees to pitch their issues.

Bigley served on the water resources team, which participated in about 20 meetings, including with Gov. Jerry Brown's D.C. staff, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Sen. Tom McClintock's staff, Rep. Dan Lungren's staff, Sen. Diane Feinstein's staff and more. His team addressed the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta crisis.

"As a region, we're concerned about water rights and the area of origin protections," Bigley said. "We want to be part of the discussion as things move forward with developing Delta solutions."

His team also discussed proposals for federal assistance in regional infrastructure projects that would help address water quality issues.

Federal and state changes to stormwater regulations were also a big concern, in terms of how these new rules would increase operating costs for local businesses. Restaurants, auto body shops, pet groomers, pest control companies, nurseries, car washes and golf courses are among the types of businesses affected.

MacPherson said regulations at the state and federal level need to be aligned so that they cause less burden for businesses and local government.

"We're still fighting that fight," she said. "It isn't just a one-time meeting and we're done. It's about shepherding concerns through the legislative process and making sure your concerns are heard."

MacPherson served on the civic amenities team, among others, and met with Lungren's staff.

"We discussed the role of civic amenities and place making and culture and attracting a workforce and creating an environment were people want to live - that affects property values," she said.

Garcia said Cap-to-Cap was successful in helping community leaders express their common concerns and goals with D.C. decision makers.

Sena Christian can be reached at senac@goldcountrymedia.com. Follow her on Twitter at SenaC_RsvPT.