Agenda Item #4568 - Ord. 18-043
Amend Chapter 2 of the City Code to Update the Ethics Provisions
Synopsis: This Ordinance is being presented by the Administration and City Council, at the recommendation of the Wilmington Ethics Commission, for City Council’s review and approval. This Ordinance is part of a comprehensive set of revisions to the City Code to repeal certain provisions that are no longer necessary or appropriate and to amend sections that require clarification or updating. Additionally, it includes substantive recommendations from the City Ethics Commission to improve and modernize ethics requirements in the City. This Ordinance amends Chapter 2, Article V, Division 6 to make the following substantive changes: (1) changes the title from Code of Conduct to Code of Ethics to more accurately reflect the substance of the code; (2) provides an updated definitions section to improve clarity of the code; (3) requires the Ethics Commission to make advisory opinions publicly available in a form redacted to protect the name of the requester, which will help educate the public and city employees; (4) eliminates the practice of permitting an absence of conflict of interest affidavit, which is not in keeping with best practices of financial disclosures; (5) changes the annual filing deadline to May 1 to ensure filers have received all financial and tax documents to help them make accurate disclosures; (6) amends those required complete financial disclosures to include members of certain boards and commission in addition to all elected officials and appointed officials to improve transparency; (7) requires financial disclosures of household members to improve transparency; (8) lowers the thresholds for certain income related financial disclosures to improve transparency; (9) amends the gift disclosure to include the aggregate value of gifts from a particular source over the calendar year to improve transparency; (10) revises the co-signed loans disclosure to require disclosure of the co-signer to improve transparency; (11) adds a real property disclosure for property involving city expenditure which ensures transparency of such acts; and (12) adds a requirement to disclose board service, which is in keeping with best practices.