Friday, August 24, 2012

If this were boxing, Mayor Bell would have a TKO over Steve Steel


Councilman Steve Steel doesn't want any 'appearance' of impropriety over Mayor Mike Bell's proposal to increase wage scales for exempt city employees. He's suggested that, since some of the current employees have made donations to Bell's campaign, any pay raise that is later given might be seen as a quid pro quo for a donation.

Never mind the fact that Steel has no qualms about any similar 'appearance' of impropriety on his part when he votes against a charter school while his wife, Catherine Hernandez, serves on the board of the Toledo Federation of Teachers - a group known for their opposition to charter schools and school choice ideas.

Never mind that Steel and other members of the city council routinely solicit and accept both contributions and endorsements from city unions and then vote on contracts with those same unions.

No - we don't need to worry about those appearances of impropriety.

But Mayor Bell has trumped Steel - handily - in submitting a new ordinance for a council vote.

While it is already illegal for individuals to solicit contributions from public employees in the classified service, Bell's ordinance would make it illegal to solicit and/or accept contributions from current city employees (not just those in the classified service), members of current employees' family and/or the bargaining units that represent city employees.

I'd call this game-set-match for Bell.

Let's wait and see how far this goes in Council....

Here is the text of the ordinance:


ORD. __ - 12

Prohibiting persons in elective city offices from soliciting and/or accepting political contributions from current City employees, members of current employees’ families and/or the bargaining units that represent City employees by supplementing the Toledo Municipal Code by adding new Sections 115.05 “Prohibited Contributions to Candidates for City Council” and 119.04 “Prohibited Contributions to Candidates for Mayor;” and declaring an emergency.

Summary and Background:

City Councilman Steve Steel has suggested that the Mayor agree to not accept political contributions from City employees. Councilman Steel’s suggestion illustrates the need to protect the integrity of the political process by prohibiting elected officials from soliciting or accepting contributions from employees and employee organizations. Importantly this will protect public employees from any appearance of collusion. This ordinance supplements the Toledo Municipal Code to add sections prohibiting acceptance of political contributions from City employees, employees’ families or the bargaining units which represent them by persons in elected City office.

Be it ordained by the Council of the City of Toledo:

SECTION 1. That a new Toledo Municipal Code Section 115.05 which reads as follows:

“115.05 – Prohibited Contributions to Candidates for City Council

No member of City Council shall solicit and/or accept any political contribution from an employee of the City of Toledo, a member of any Toledo employee’s Immediate Family, and/or any Bargaining Unit that represents City employees.

As used herein, political contribution shall include monetary donations, provision of services or the donation of anything of value.

As used herein “Immediate Family” shall mean the employee’s spouse or registered domestic partner, regardless of domicile and children living in the employee’s residence.

As used herein, “Bargaining Unit” shall mean the employee organization certified or recognized as an exclusive representative under section 4117.05 of the Revised Code and or any local, regional, national organization that includes the employee organization.

Any violation of this Section shall constitute a misdemeanor of the first degree”

be and the same is hereby enacted

SECTION 2. That a new Toledo Municipal Code Section 119.04 which reads as follows:

“119.04 – Prohibited Contributions to Candidates for Mayor

The Mayor shall not solicit and/or accept any political contribution from an employee of the City of Toledo, a member of any Toledo employee’s immediate family and/or any bargaining unit, that represents City employees.

As used herein, political contribution shall include monetary donations, provision of services or the donation of anything of value.

As used herein “Immediate Family” shall mean the employee’s spouse or registered domestic partner, regardless of domicile and children living in the employee’s residence.

As used herein, “Bargaining Unit” shall mean the employee organization certified or recognized as an exclusive representative under section 4117.05 of the Revised Code and or any local, regional, national organization that includes the employee organization.

Any violation of this Section shall constitute a misdemeanor of the first degree”

be and the same is hereby enacted.

SECTION 3. That this Ordinance is declared to be an emergency measure and shall take effect and be in force from and after its passage. The reason for the emergency lies in the fact that this ordinance is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, safety and property, and for the further reason that the public is served by the prohibition of certain political contributions.

5 comments:

-Sepp said...

Steel (and his lefty counterparts) only care about everyone else's "appearance of impropriety" while most of them openly engage on borderline acts of legality and, ethical behavior.

The Chief knows how they operate and, cut them all off at the knees.

Any bets that the dems on council are in bedwetting mode?
In order to appear ethical, they'll have to vote "yea" on this while knowing that it will certainly hurt them and cause them to find new ways to skirt the law or, at minimum skirt the spirit of it.
Kudos to Bell for forcing them to either put up or, shaddap.

I'm guessing that "Shaddap" will be the path they take while they're quietly telling Soviet Steve to do the same.

Timothy W Higgins said...

I am reminded of the classic Tom Hanks, Jackie Gleason movie, "Nothing In Common". After being spurned by Sela following a rather obvious and kind of rude flirtation, Tom turns to a passing waiter:

"Is my nose bleeding?" he says. "I just got tagged. Ouch."

skeeter1107 said...

It will be interesting to see what Council does.

However, I figure what will happen is that someone will bring up the "legality" of this sort of ordinance. I figure the Democrats could pass it to save face while having a Democrat operative challenge it in court if it passes.

Maggie Thurber said...

Good prediction Skeeter, but I think we'll see the whole thing just disappear unless Bell wants to push it.

James said...

What are the Democrats on Council going to do if they can't get that huge stash of union money for their elections? Looks like they will have to hold a lot of spaghetti dinners, eventually fattening up not only their coffers but their waistlines. Then the health police will be preaching better eating habits.

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