City of Boise officials want to hire a consulting firm—to the tune of more than $100,000.
When the Boise City Council convenes this Tuesday, July 16, lawmakers will be asked to green-light a contract with Strategies 360, a Washington, D.C.-based consulting firm with offices throughout the country, including Boise. Strategies 360 scored highest in a bidding process among eight candidates.
The one-year agreement, which would see Strategies 360 track Congressional and federal agency issues and "establish relationships with federal elected officials and agency personnel," would not exceed $110,000. In its proposal, Strategies 360 said it would "deeply discount the first month of service to $5,000 and will pay the expenses of three team members to fly to Boise in the first two weeks of the contract to meet city officials." Thereafter, Strategies 360 would charge a monthly rate of $7,500.
But a key member of the Strategies 360 team wouldn't need to travel that far. Former Boise Democratic Rep. Brian Cronin, who retired from the Idaho Legislature in 2012, serves as Strategies 360's senior vice president of Idaho operations.
Tamlynn Gordon, Strategies 360's senior vice president of federal relations, wrote in her company's bid to the city of Boise that the firm's "years of experience on Capitol Hill and on the ground in the West have cultivated a broad network of connections."
In 2012, Strategies 360 was tangled in a lawsuit (and countersuit) with its former Boise operatives, John Foster and Kate Haas. The pair were fired from Strategies 360 following Foster’s announcement that he would be assisting Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter in supporting Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna’s “Students Come First” laws. Strategies 360 said it began losing critical Idaho clients because of the Foster-Otter alignment. Foster and Haas claimed they were improperly dismissed.