Even though its not becoming law any time soon, Community Board 6 this week showed its distaste for a City Council bill that would hold members to the same financial disclosure standards as elected officials. The local law, Intro. No. 765, was introduced in December by Manhattan Councilmember Gale Brewer. It seeks to amend the citys administrative code, requiring financial disclosure by board members. The board voted to recommend the disapproval of the measure, agreeing with its Finance/Personnel/Law Committee that the measure would act as a disincentive to serve on the community board. Richard Bashner, the chair of the committee, said if the bill were to pass, members felt there could be widespread resignations from the board. The level of disclosure is quite intrusive and subject to Freedom of Information Act requests, and could become public knowledge, he said. Board member David Reiss agreed. These applications are very onerous, Reiss said. Under the penalty of perjury youd have to represent facts about your financial position, he said, a lot to ask of a volunteer. Brewer said an accompanying resolution asking the state to make financial disclosure forms less burdensome would be introduced this session. Intro No. 765 will not be reintroduced just yet, she said. If the state grants the city permission to craft its own disclosure formmaking it less lengthythen the intro will be reintroduced. The community board voted to support the sister resolution. I do not think anyone who is a volunteer should fill out the long forms, Brewer told this paper. But even as a volunteer, there is still a possibility for conflict, so I think there should be a short form, she said. Brewer, who represents Manhattans West Side, said there are precedents for volunteers filling out financial disclosure forms. As a former school board member, Brewer said, she was compelled to fill out the forms. Community Education Council members also must fill out disclosure forms, she said.
©2006 Community News Group
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