Louisville Metro Councilman Robin Engel http://wfpl.org en Appropriations Chairman Seeks Ethics Opinion on Council Distributing Gifts http://wfpl.org/post/appropriations-chairman-seeks-ethics-opinion-council-distributing-gifts <p>The chairman of the Louisville Metro Council&rsquo;s Appropriations Committee is asking the Ethics Commission to weigh-in on whether city lawmakers can pass out gifts to constituents.</p><p>Earlier this week, the appropriations committee discussed a pair of Neighborhood Development Fund requests made by council members Rick Blackwell, D-12, and Vicki Welch, D-13. The two were seeking to give Metro Parks $3,000 in return for 400 tickets to performances at the Iroquois Amphitheater, which Blackwell and Welch would give out to residents.</p><p>The county attorney warned that tickets can have a &quot;monetary value and political value&quot; and lawmakers should discuss the matter further. After a fierce debate, the committee voted down the proposal by a 3-to-3 vote.</p><p>Councilman Robin Engel, R-22, who chairs the appropriations panel, sent a letter to the commission Friday asking if it is a violation of the city&#39;s code of ethics for council members to control the distribution of tickets. He says there has been a fierce debate on passing out tickets, but lawmakers need non-partisan guidance.</p><p>&quot;The question is the temptation and the possibility of impropriety of being able to distribute tickets as a council member. That is in play here and that&rsquo; the question of the day,&rdquo; he says.</p><p> Fri, 27 Jul 2012 16:01:16 +0000 Phillip M. Bailey 1144 at http://wfpl.org Appropriations Chairman Seeks Ethics Opinion on Council Distributing Gifts