Posted by Jonathan Maus ( Publisher/Editor ) on April 6th, 2009 at 3:44 pm
help bolster legislative efforts
in Karl Rohde’s departure.
(Photos © J. Maus)
I got in touch with BTA executive director Scott Bricker today to ask him about how their recent shift in personnel would impact their 2009 legislative agenda.
On Friday, I reported that the BTA’s government relations and public affairs director Karl Rohde had been abruptly let go, just as the legislative session was heating up. Earlier today, I reported that Bricker had already stepped into Rohde’s role as the BTA’s sole lobbyist in Salem (a role that Bricker had done for years before coming the executive director in 2007).
I wanted to learn more about what the Rohde situation meant for the BTA. What does Rohde’s departure mean for the BTA’s legislative efforts this session? Would Bricker step into the lobbyist/PR role full-time? If so, would the BTA search for a new leader? Would Bricker try to do both jobs simultaneously?
“I don’t intend to comment on personnel matters. I want to focus on our strategy moving forward.”
— Scott Bricker, BTA executive director
Bricker assured me via telephone today from Salem that the BTA’s legislative efforts would not miss a beat in Rohde’s absence. Bricker noted that not only will he serve the BTA’s interest in Salem (as their “longtime lobbyist”) but he’ll be joined in his efforts by the most senior member of their organization, Doug Parrow. Parrow is chair of the BTA’s legislative committee (he has served on that committee since 1997), and he’s their longest serving board member whose involvement with the organization goes back to it earliest days.
Bricker says Parrow is a legal expert (although not a lawyer) who is now retired and has committed to spending 20 hours a week helping the BTA’s legislative efforts. (It also helps that Parrow lives in the Salem/Keizer area).
In addition to Parrow, Bricker said other members of the legislative committee will “continue to be very active” and he also shared that the BTA has just signed a contract with a Confluence Consulting LLC. Confluence is the well-known environmental issue lobbying firm of Sue Marshall and David Moscowitz (they also represent the Coalition for a Livable Future, among others).
As for juggling the dual roles of executive director and lobbyist, Bricker said that in the next three months of the session, they’ll look to hire immediately for an interim position to help with advocacy projects, media relations, and so on.
After the session is over, Bricker will take a longer look at the BTA’s staffing situation and possibly look to hire another full-time staffer.
Not surprisingly, Bricker declined to comment specifically on why Karl Rohde is no longer on his staff. “I don’t intend to comment on personnel matters,” he said, “I want to focus on our strategy moving forward.”