The Alexandria City Council, after months of deliberation, overrode objections from the business community last night and passed a law imposing a tough financial disclosure requirement on businessmen seeking to deal with the city.
The law states that business executives must disclose any financial interest or ties with council members, the city manager, the city attorney and their spouses, even if the ties are not directly related to the contract being sought. A financial interest is defined as any relationship involving more than $10,000 or more than 3 percent of the business in question.
The Alexandria Chamber of Commerce and other business groups opposed the legislation, arguing that it would make it too difficult for executives to deal with the city.
Two Republican members of the council, Carlyle C. Ring and Margaret B. Inman, voted against the bill, which council member Donald C. Casey (D) introduced to avoid situations such as the one that led to the June resignation of Vice Mayor James Moran (D).
Moran resigned after he was accused of a conflict of interest because he had ties with a developer who was seeking a contract with the city.
Republican council member Robert L. Calhoun, after initially opposing the measure, voted in favor of it after the council agreed to two amendments he proposed. One says that the city law will be interpreted in the same manner as a state conflict-of-interest law. The second requires the city attorney to give a written opinion on the applicability of the law to any businessman who requests it.