Mayor and Council



   For the meeting on:

  January 14, 2013
   Department:   City Attorney
   Responsible staff:  Debra Yerg Daniel, City Attorney
  phone: (240) 314 - 8150
  DDaniel@rockvillemd.gov


Subject
Discussion on City of Gaithersburg's request that the City of Rockville support proposed amendments to the Maryland Public Ethics Law

Recommendation
Discuss City of Gaithersburg's request that the City of Rockville support proposed amendments to the Maryland Public Ethics Law and provide instructions to staff on how to respond to request

Change in Law or Policy
Proposed amendments to the Maryland Public Ethics Law

Discussion
On January 3, 2013, staff received a letter and proposed amendments to the Maryland Public Ethics Law from Lynn Board, the City Attorney for the City of Gaithersburg. The letter and proposed amendments are provided as Attachments A and B, respectively. Ms. Board requested in the letter that the City of Rockville join in the efforts of seeking support for the proposed legislation.

On January 8, 2013, staff spoke with Ms. Board and, as a follow-up, received an e-mail and a copy of last year's Senate Bill 948 from Ms. Board. The e-mail and Senate Bill 948 are provided as Attachments C and D, respectively. One of the sponsors of Senate Bill 948 was Senator Jamie Raskin. In her e-mail, Ms. Board states that Senator Raskin's staff "has indicated that they would like to use this bill as a starting point for this year's legislation." She further states that "[w]e intend to request of [Senator] Raskin that Counties and Boards of Education be removed from the year's legislation in order for there to be a better chance of passage."

Ms. Board has represented to City staff that the following municipalities are in support of seeking legislation: Gaithersburg, Westminster, St. Michaels, Mount Airy, and Thurmont. She is still waiting to hear back from the following municipalities whether they support the legislative effort: Annapolis, Takoma Park, Frederick, Poolesville and Rockville. Ms. Board states in her e-mail that "[t]he group of municipalities that we are working with supports the language in [Senate Bill 948] that is applicable to municipalities."

There are meetings scheduled on Thursday, January 10, 2013 with Senator Raskin's office and Delegate Robinson's office regarding this legislation. Ms. Board has indicated that she will follow-up with the City Attorney after these meetings..

Mayor and Council History
This is the first time this item has been brought before the Mayor and Council.

Next Steps
Staff will send a response to the City of Gaithersburg in accordance with the Mayor and Council's instructions.

Attachments
Attachment A -ltr.pdfAttachment A -ltr.pdfAttachment B - Proposed legislation change (3-3-13).pdfAttachment B - Proposed legislation change (3-3-13).pdfAttachment C - Email from Lynn Board, Esq.pdfAttachment C - Email from Lynn Board, Esq.pdfAttachment D - SB 948.pdfAttachment D - SB 948.pdf

Department Head:



Debra Yerg Daniel, City Attorney
Approved on: 01/09/2013

City Manager:

Barbara B. Matthews, City Manager
Approved on: 01/09/2013