Topping the list of the most expensive gifts Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake received last year is a $150 umbrella from Raindrops, a designer company that features chic rain gear with lacy pagodas, pinstripe ruffles and can-can parasols.
The mayor's 2013 ethics form gives a bare-bones description of the present received after the Christmas season from Comptroller Joan M. Pratt, a frequent critic of the mayor, but provides a window into the perks of her position.
In all, Rawlings-Blake reported 31 gifts worth $1,300, according to a review of the filings. Most of the goodies came during the Christmas season, but the mayor took in a heap of gifts for her 43rd birthday on March 17, including two chocolate rainbow cakes, fresh-cut flowers and balloons.
Council President Bernard C. "Jack" Young gave her a $20 bottle of alcohol to mark the occasion and former public works chief Alfred H. Foxx presented her with a bottle of wine.
For the holidays, she accepted a Letts of London daily diary, a poinsettia, a dozen long-stemmed roses, gift baskets, chocolate-covered saltwater taffy and a box of Royal Riviera pears.
This is the first year city disclosure forms are available online for public review. The forms provide details on loans, family income sources, gifts and business relationships for 1,900 government workers and elected officials.
The city requires officials to disclose gifts valued at $20 or more from people who are doing business with the city, who are regulated by the city or who lobby the city. (The more nuanced version of the rules can be found in the Ethics Code, Subtitle 6, Part IV.)
The rest of the presents that Rawlings-Blake disclosed came mostly from businesses, organizations and lawyers. They included two boxes of coffee and an assortment of dinners, drinks and lunches.
Pratt disclosed only one gift: a Christmas gift basket worth $30 from the owner of a company that manages parking garages in the city.
Young is one of only two council members to disclose any gifts. He reported approximately $2,500 for tickets to galas for organizations such as the National Alliance on Mental Health and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. He traveled to Los Angeles to attend an empowerment conference for about $1,400 and received a free meal at the Chesapeake Restaurant's buffet for himself and six guests.
Councilman Brandon M. Scott said he received a curved calculator pen stand worth $35 from Coppin State University's social work program as well as two award plaques, each valued at $100.
"I have been submitting them for seven years," Scott said. "Every time someone gives me something, I write it down."
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