Lobbying Firm Steps In

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A Lincoln lobbying firm has been recruited to help Norfolk and Hastings in their plight to keep their regional centers open.

The Norfolk City Council on Monday approved a contract with O'Hara, Lindsay and Associates for up to $25,000.

The firm began working on behalf of the two cities earlier this month and will continue trying to persuade state senators from voting for a mental health care reform plan that would significantly reduce the centers' funds or close them.

The two cities earlier hired lobbyist H. Jack Moors to work on the same issue. That contract calls for Moors to be paid $80,000 over two years, with Norfolk and Hastings splitting the cost.

The contract with O'Hara, Lindsay and Associates expires at the end of 2004. Hastings officials are hoping to raise money to pitch in on the costs of the new lobbyists.