Local agencies have spent $711,000 on lobbying since the beginning of 2009 as they try to increase their take of federal dollars, stay on top of changes in energy regulations and battle school budget cuts.
Glendale spent $185,000 in 2009-10, according to databases that track state and federal lobbying expenditures. Burbank spent roughly $170,000. And Bob Hope Airport officials, thick into their battle for mandatory noise controls, spent $186,000,
Glendale has focused its lobbying on energy and utilities.
"There's quite a bit going on in the utility industry, and we want to make sure we are in the forefront so we can take advantage of grants and legislation that would help our city," said John Takhtalian, assistant to the Glendale city manager.
Last year the city ended its contract with Townsend Public Affairs. Takhtalian said city staffers can handle efforts to tap general state programs, and pointed out that there is little benefit these days to lobbying in Sacramento for help from the cash-strapped state.