Thursday, February 13, 2003

Recreation tiff prompts call for new ethics rule



By Gregory Korte
The Cincinnati Enquirer

As Cincinnati City Council mulls a compromise plan to get more money to fix up recreation facilities, two council members are proposing a revamp of city ethics rules that would prohibit recreation employees from lobbying for more money.

Pat DeWine and John Cranley, angered by what they saw as a lobbying campaign orchestrated by city recreation employees, said they want the city manager to draft new rules barring the practice.

"It's the kind of thing you would think we wouldn't need a policy," DeWine said.

The council members are upset at efforts by James Garges, city recreation director, to build support for Councilman David Crowley's proposal to "borrow" $6.5 million of neighborhood development money to fix facilities like Westwood Town Hall and the Millvale Recreation Center.

Garges said it was an informational campaign, but DeWine said he crossed the line when he told supervisors to hit the community council circuit to tell recreation boosters to call and write council members and come to a committee meeting.

Crowley said the rules were appropriate, but said what Garges did was part of the legitimate role of a department head to disseminate information.

"It's an insult to all those people to say that they were only here because some recreation supervisor roused them up and got them out," he said.

Also Wednesday, Vice Mayor Alicia Reece proposed an alternative plan that would find $5.5 million from other capital accounts to fix up recreation facilities. That compromise plan will go to the finance committee.

E-mail gkorte@enquirer.com




TOP STORIES
Lawsuit says Ky. diocese covered up for priests
Ky. teachers rally to protect funding
Developer planning Mason mall site
Soldiers heading to war keep genes on active duty

IN THE TRISTATE
Tristate doesn't seem too terrified
Board votes to change administrator's contract
Saturday's a school day
Recreation tiff prompts call for new ethics rule
Suit against Enquirer dismissed
Suit over superintendent selection dismissed
Obituary: Albert Brooks
Tristate A.M. Report

ENQUIRER COLUMNISTS
RADEL: Morgan trumps Marge
PULFER: Horse auction
HOWARD: Some Good News

BUTLER, WARREN, CLERMONT
St. Thomas mourns loss of student
I-75/Fox interchange priorities are listed
Teens get tougher sentence
Disease steals breath, dreams
Finke moves to Lakota
Lebanon leaders get pay raise
Milford asks voters for school levy again in May
Trustees postpone traffic study of Hamilton-Mason
Ah, the palms of Miami, swaying in Ohio's winter wind
Trustees divided over Liberty Twp. takeover
Hummer Memorial Park wins award from state

OHIO
House defies Taft on budget
House approves taxes-free budget fix
Body-double murder plot gets Ohio woman 20 years
Concealed weapons charge thrown out
Bills to try again for lower DUI limit
No last words as killer executed
State librarian saved Lincoln's life
In upscale suburb, parents of black students less involved

KENTUCKY
Buyer protection posed
Forum ponders how to end homelessness
Patton case hits grand jury
Remark on radio jeopardizes grant
House panel weighs medical malpractice fix
Priest's journal suggests church knew of abuse
Lucas on anti-terror panel
House panel approves bill to prohibit cloning