City Ethics Bill Withdrawn, Will Be Refiled After Tweaking

By Corinne Rose

June 29, 2011 Updated Jun 29, 2011 at 7:27 AM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Indiana's NewsCenter) -- Fort Wayne City Councilwoman Liz Brown will try again to get a new ethics proposal for mayoral elections passed.

Her ordinance, which would have barred city contractors from making campaign contributions to the mayor, sparked a heated debate at Tuesday night's meeting.

Democrats claimed the plan violated campaign finance laws and would have let mayoral challengers continue to benefit from such contributions.

Brown withdrew the measure, but said the aim was to improve local political ethics.

City Councilwoman Liz Brown/(R) At Large: "We want to make sure everyone is comfortable doing business and businesses that come here can do business in the city. So this was just gonna take the burden if you will off some of the contractors and that's all it was."

Brown is said to be reworking her proposal to include all mayoral candidates and local elected officials. She plans to reintroduce it at Council's next meeting.

Also Tuesday night, City Council members tackled the next step in a joint City-County plan streamlining the business permitting process by passing a new oversight permitting board.

And in another vote, Council approved economic revitalization area designation for seven businesses. The companies say the new status will give them the opportunity to create 144 jobs.

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