Breaking News

KC Council committee endorses more stringent ethics rules

Updated: 2013-05-16T05:01:09Z


The Kansas City Star

Proposed ethics rules would give the public a fresh peek every three months at who is making what gifts to which members of the Kansas City Council.

The council’s Finance and Ethics Committee on Wednesday endorsed the first major revision to the city’s ethics code since the 1990s. It goes to the full council on May 23 for a vote.

“This gives the public more confidence that we are maintaining the standards that they expect of us,” finance committee Chairwoman Jan Marcason said.

One of the key changes would require council members to file disclosures on a quarterly basis with the city clerk. Those disclosures would list any gift over $200 — no one could accept anything worth more than $1,000 — from any person or business entity involved in legislative or administrative activity with the city.

Currently, the disclosures are due only once a year, and there is no legal limit to gifts that council members can accept.

Marcason said that City Council members generally don’t get gifts of money, jewelry or other valuables. The most common gifts are tickets to charity events or concerts. The new code wouldn’t require disclosure of tickets to events in city facilities such as the Sprint Center, Kemper Arena or the Music Hall but would require disclosure of tickets from promoters or groups to non-city facilities such as the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts or Kauffman or Arrowhead stadiums.

More frequent disclosure was one of the recommendations of Mayor Sly James’ Commission on Ethics Reform. That group met for months in 2011 and proposed a variety of ways to strengthen the city’s ethics rules, including calling for a specific ethics compliance officer in the city.

The new code would require an ethics compliance officer, although that person has not yet been identified.

To reach Lynn Horsley, call 816-226-2058 or send email to

Deal Saver Subscribe today!


The Kansas City Star is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Kansas City Star uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here