Council approves ethics package
The Baltimore County Council voted in favor of Council Bills 35-17 and 36-17. These bills will help restore integrity to local government, ensuring county officials are held to a higher ethical standard, and make county government more transparent. Bill 35-17 requires elected county officials, appointed department heads, members of various boards and commissions, selected staff and registered lobbyist with Baltimore County to participate in a two hour training class on the county ethics rules conducted by the Baltimore County Ethics Commission. Bill 36-17 prohibits political campaign contributions to members of the County Council during
the quadrennial Comprehensive Zoning Map Process (CZMP).
“The passage of these bills marks a great day for county government, bipartisanship-but most important- ly it is a win for the people of Baltimore County. This is an important step towards a more honest and open government. Elected officials should be held to the highest ethical standards and this legislation will help hold county officials to those standards and eliminate conflicts of interest. As a co-sponsor on both pieces of legislation I am thrilled with their passage and I look forward to their implementation,” said County Councilwoman Cathy Bevins (D-6).
The Baltimore County Commission on Ethics consists of five members, all appointed by the County Executive. Of the five members, two must be members of the political party to which the County Executive does not belong and two members must be lawyers licensed to practice law in the State of Maryland.
The Comprehensive Zoning Process (CZMP) takes place every four years. Any citizen may request a zoning change on any property in the county. The CZMP process runs from September 1st, in the year in which the time for filing issues has commenced to September 16th of the following year. Bill 36-17 will prohibit members of the County Council during the CZMP Cycle from accepting campaign contributions, scheduling or holding fundraising events or soliciting campaign contributions or future campaign contributions.