One of the most contentious topics in local government ethics is
prohibition vs. disclosure of gifts to officials. As with so many
government ethics issues, the best answer is both, but reaching
the best answer requires a thinking outside the box, along with a
sincere interest in ending pay-to-play, in this case, the use of gifts as a way to reward
officials for past or future conduct.
One example of such thinking outside the box comes from City Ethics'
own Carla Miller, the Jacksonville ethics officer, and the city's ethics
commission. The city had two laws on the books, one a prohibition
provision, the other a disclosure provision. The former made the latter
superfluous. And it also left open a loophole. Both were dealt with.