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Stokes Wants Ethics Reports Posted Online

Councilman Carl Stokes called the legislation a "good government bill."

Baltimore City Councilman Carl Stokes introduced a bill on Thursday that would make accessing ethics reports filed by elected officials and some staff members more accessible to the public.

Stokes wants the reports, which the public can currently review at City Hall, posted on the Internet.

“I think it’s a good government bill,” Stokes said. “I think in the effort to be as transparent as possible I feel elected officials should make it as easy as possible for people to look at their public disclosure forms, campaign finances, etc.”

According to Baltimore City codes, all elected officials and staff, agency officials and staff, and procurement, legislative liaison and enforcement personnel are required to file reports with the Ethics Board.

Stokes, who represents parts of Charles Village and Remington, said the records he wants to post online are already available to the public and that they city should take advantage of technology to make the reports more accessible.

“Right now you’ve got to make a trip down to City Hall, you’ve got to go upstairs … basically they put you in a room, you look at it, they take it back from you and you’ve got to remember what you read,” Stokes said.  

The bill was assigned to the Judiciary and Legislative Investigations Committee chaired by Councilman James Kraft. The bill must receive a hearing in committee and be voted out before being presented to the council as a whole.

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ralahinn1 December 09, 2011 at 11:16 PM
I think this is a good idea, if someone is not truthful in their actions, I would like to know about it. People would act better too, if they noted that their actions were up for public scrutiny
Wayne Styles December 10, 2011 at 08:22 PM
It's none of their djam business as far as I'm concern. Ethics is important, but I don't see the need to legislate it. If you want to legislate something, legislate everyman and woman have a job! job! job! job!...these representatives don't have a clue as what is important and what takes priority. If I had my way I'd vote all of the current representatives out of office, especially the Republicans first, then the Democrats on a case by case basis...what have you done for me lately.

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