Coun­cil ap­proves ethics pack­age

The Avenue News - - FRONT PAGE -

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.

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