A daily diary, chocolate rainbow cake and a gift basket with skin care products were just some of the $1,300 in gifts Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake claimed on her 2013 ethics forms, according to a review of the filings.
The most expensive of the 31 gifts the mayor reported was a $150 umbrella from city Comptroller Joan M. Pratt. As for other gifts from fellow elected officials, Rawlings-Blake reported a $20 bottle of alcohol from Council President Bernard C. "Jack" Young.
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 Baltimore Sun recently reviewed the documents filed by city elected officials.
Developing the system to put the forms online cost about $60,000.
The city requires that officials disclose significant gifts — meaning those valued at $20 or more — from people doing business with the city, are regulated by the city or lobby the city. (For the more nuanced version of the rules check out Ethics Code Subtitle 6, Part IV)
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The rest of the presents that Rawlings-Blake disclosed came mostly from businesses, organizations and lawyers. The gifts also included a dozen long-stemmed roses, a box of salt water taffy coated in chocolate, 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 company that manages parking garages in the city.
Young is one of only two council members who disclosed any gifts. He reported approximately $2,500 for tickets to galas for organizations including the National Alliance on Mental Health and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. He also disclosed a trip he took to attend an empowerment conference in Los Angeles for about $1,400 and a free meal at the Chesapeake Restaurant's buffet for himself and six guests.
Councilman Brandon M. Scott is the only other council member who disclosed any gifts. He reported that 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.
The disclosure forms filed by the council members are largely inconsistent. Among the details reported are their memberships on boards, companies and properties they own, income from their spouses and jobs held by family members.