Columbus City Council President Zach Klein held a public hearing Wednesday on proposed changes to the city’s ethics rules. Klein says work began in October to strengthen regulations of lobbyists and to make campaign finance disclosure more transparent.
“We’re looking to increase the number of campaign finance filings required of candidates and current office holders so that citizens in the city of Columbus know exactly who’s giving what to different candidates and elected officials,” Klein says. “And we’re also going to be working with the Franklin County Board of Elections to ensure that we have a searchable database so that it’s easy to find.”
Klein says an independent ethics expert will compare Columbus’ rules to those in other cities of comparable size.
“I think that will give us full transparency of where we’re good, where we are weak. And where we’re weak, looking to those cities that do better than us to try and figure out how we can continue to shine the sunlight on what’s going on at city hall because folks got to have faith in government in order for government to work,” Klein says.
Klein says Ohio State University’s Herb Asher and state representative Mike Curtin have been advising the city as it studies how to update ethics regulations.
Klein says some proposed changes will be tougher than state requirements. He expects a vote to come soon.