GOVERNMENT RELATIONS CASE STUDY
Understand The Need
Clear Channel had a number of billboards in the City of New Rochelle which decided to undertake an aggressive urban renewal program.
As part of that program the city determined all billboards in the urban renewal area had to be removed.
ISSUES & CHALLENGES
working with NYS Department Of Transportation, NYS Legislature & City of New Rochelle Officials
Pursuing A Litigation Path
This would be a tremendous revenue loss to Clear Channel and other companies that also had billboards in the area and a lawsuit was entered in Federal Court to stop this effort.
In Search of a Solution
There were follow-up discussions among the lawsuit’s various parties, including the city, looking to a compromise and settlement.
“Although the process was arduous and painstaking at times, it was also one of the most specific, business-oriented, special interest bills that I ever drafted and worked on involving numerous parties. In the end, the client was thrilled with the effort and eventual legislation -- we won the day.”
John B. Kiernan, Of Counsel, NYS Government Relations Practice
Developing a Plan
One of the solutions we provided was to relocate some of the removed billboards to an area bordering the New York State Thruway in a commercial area of the city of New Rochelle. Many thought that this was reasonable and consistent with the goals of the city.
But New York State Public Authorities law governing the Thruway prohibited the placement of billboards along the thruway where the proposed settlement would allow them.
Thanks to one of our team member’s time as the NYS Senate Counsel, who also served as Chief Counsel to the Transportation Committee, he had experience with everything “transportation” including the Thruway. That inside knowledge provided a path forward to solving the problem.
Achieving The Goal
After some discussions with elected officials and state agencies, we drafted a bill that said that although billboards were prohibited along the thruway, a limited number would be allowed in a certain area of New Rochelle if they were part of a Federal Court case settlement and were replacing billboards taken under an urban renewal project and approved by the city of New Rochelle.