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Published: Wednesday, 5/14/2008

Lucas County campaign donation disclosure rule passes

BY ALEX M. PARKER
BLADE STAFF WRITER

A new policy in Lucas County will require anyone aiming for a county contract to disclose any campaign contributions they have made to elected county officials.

The county commissioners unanimously approved a resolution, introduced by Commissioner Ben Konop, requiring the disclosure for any contract that's more than $10,000.

"Not that there's always a connection between [campaign contributions and contracts]," Mr. Konop said. "Campaign contributions do buy access. That's an unfortunate part of our system."

Campaign contributions are disclosed in reports filed with the board of elections, but Mr. Konop said the extra disclosure requirement would help county residents monitor their elected officials.

Residents will be able to view the disclosure forms on the county's Web site.

Ohio law forbids anyone from entering into a government contract if he or she has donated more than $1,000 to the elected official responsible for the contract.

Last year, the commissioners passed a similar resolution, also proposed by Mr. Konop, which requires anyone appointed to a board or commission by the commissioners to disclose any campaign contributions.

In other business, the com-missioners commended its emergency management agency for making the county "Storm Ready" in the eyes of the National Weather Service.

According to the commissioners, the county is the largest in Ohio to receive that certification - and it could mean lower flood insurance rates for county residents.

The weather service's rating is based on communications systems among fire departments, EMS, and other officials as well as drills emergency employees in the county performed to show their readiness for a dangerous storm.



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