Journalist @baltimoresun writer artist runner #amwriting Chaplain PIO #partylikeajournalist

Journalist @baltimoresun writer artist runner #amwriting Chaplain PIO #partylikeajournalist
Journalist @baltimoresun writer artist runner #amwriting Md Troopers Assoc #20 & Westminster Md Fire Dept Chaplain PIO #partylikeajournalist

Friday, March 20, 2015

My copy of the pamphlet on the 1979 Maryland Public Ethics Law and some thoughts on the current Maryland Ethics disclosure law.

My copy of the pamphlet on the 1979 Maryland Public Ethics Law and some thoughts on the current Maryland Ethics disclosure law.

For your files, please find from my old papers a copy of a pamphlet that the State Dept. of Legislative References published in early 1979 about the newly enacted Maryland Public Ethics Law which went into effect on July 1, 1979.

I have long-since forgotten the context of the law or what particular incident may have precipitated the law.

I do remember that at the time fulfilling the requirements of the law were relatively effortless and unremarkable.

According to some individuals close to the situation, “legislation enacted by the Maryland General Assembly in 2010 required local ethics ordinances to be at least as stringent as state law. At the time, many municipal government officials expressed alarm over the breadth of the new financial disclosure requirements. Municipal officials were concerned that the broad requirements would deter capable new candidates from seeking local office and influence current elected officials to decline to seek reelection.

“Bills introduced in the 2014 session of the General Assembly by Senator Raskin and Delegates Gilchrist and Haddaway-Riccio sought to exempt local municipal elected officials from disclosing certain items.

In 2015, the Maryland Municipal League is taking a different approach to this legislation. Rather than exempting elected municipal officials and candidates for municipal office from filing financial disclosure statements, or certain information therein, this legislation would shield certain confidential information from public inspection absent a finding by a local ethics commission of a violation of any part of the municipalities’ financial disclosure or conflict of interest requirements.

“Specifically, the law would shield information regarding a spouse or dependent child, and, unless related to a business entity with which the municipality has conducted business within the last 10 years, the candidate or elected official’s interests in real property located outside the municipal corporation, interests in corporations, partnerships, and limited liability companies, employment information, and indebtedness.

“All of the above information would still be reported and submitted to the local ethics commission, be available to the local board of elections, and to the courts; however, it would not be releasable to the public absent a finding by the ethics commission of a violation.”

I was elected to the Common Council of the City of Westminster in 1999 and served as Mayor from 2001 until 2005.  In these capacities, and particularly as Mayor, I expended numerous hours engaged in activities in furtherance of the interests of the City and its residents and businesses.

At all times during my elected service, I worked in non-City-related employment, as a businessman, farmer, artist, and free-lance journalist.

I currently find the requirements of the Model Ordinance to be unreasonably burdensome. Although, in my capacity as an elected official, I thoroughly understand that I have no reasonable expectation of privacy as to information that is relevant to my service as a municipal employee, the Model Ordinance presents an opportunity for an excessive arbitrary invasion of my personal privacy, unrelated to the purpose and intent of the State Public Ethics Law, because the required disclosures would include information neither relevant, material, nor reasonably calculated to lead to the disclosure of pertinent information related in any way to my public service.

I take pride and satisfaction in my past service for our citizens as an elected official in Westminster, notwithstanding the fact that my expenses as an elected official exceeded the compensation provided by the Charter of the City of Westminster

I am unaware of any conduct by a City elected official or by a candidate for City elective office during my tenure that presented either a conflict of interest or the appearance of conflict of interest that would have been identified and corrected by the Model Ordinance but that would have been missed by the City’s Proposed Ordinance.

In my view, the provisions of the Model Ordinance, if not modified and revised as set forth in the City’s Proposed Ordinance, impose a substantial hardship and an undue intrusion upon the personal privacy of persons who choose to run for and serve in public office in the City of Westminster, without accomplishing any significant benefit in terms of protecting the public that would justify the hardship or invasion of privacy.

Although I, along with current and former municipal officials throughout the state, understand that in order for municipal government, the government that is closest to the people, to be effective, it must be transparent and open, approachable and accessible.

Strong ethics ordinances are critical for local government to effective, vibrant and meaningful.

My family has been involved in municipal government for many-generations dating back to before the 1890s. It is my insight that adoption of the Model Ordinance is over-kill and as such would significantly reduce the availability of qualified individuals for public service and encourages currently- elected officials to decline to seek reelection.

I do not know the status of the current legislation in the Maryland General Assembly. I do know that the current law is so severe, punishing and draconian that many good folks who would make great local municipal officials have quietly opted-out of participating in local government as a result of the new law.

Many current officials have determined that it is punitive in nature but find themselves unwilling to publicly challenge it for fear of being subjected to political and media ridicule – so they have simply decided to quietly opt-out from serving.

It should be further noted that no one can serve in public office without the support of their family. Family members across the state have objected to disclosing aspects of their personal life that have nothing to do with the material conduct of municipal government.

The nature and breadth of issues that municipal government officials deal with are far narrower than those that state and even county officials address. It stands to reason that the nature and breadth of financial disclosure of municipal officials versus state officials should parallel those differences.

Just saying

Baltimore Sun Carroll Eagle: 


Tumblr: Kevin Dayhoff Banana Stems

Kevin Dayhoff is an artist - and a columnist for:


Kevin Dayhoff's The New Bedford Herald: =


Google profile:

E-mail: kevindayhoff(at)

My columns appear in the copy of the Baltimore Sunday Sun that is distributed in Carroll County:

See also - Kevin Earl Dayhoff Art Travel, art, artists, authors, books, newspapers, media, writers and writing, journalists and journalism, reporters and reporting, music, culture, opera... Ad maiorem Dei gloriam inque hominum salutem. “Deadline U.S.A.” 1952. Ed Hutcheson: “That's the press, baby. The press! And there's nothing you can do about it. Nothing!” - See more at:

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.