meeting," Heffernan said, citing three reasons.
Foremost, he said, more time is needed to research the legal
nuances of the plan.
"I think it's probable that it will stand a litigation test,"
Heffernan said. "So we need to do legal research to verify the
language of the ordinance."
Secondly, council consideration of the ordinance could complicate
the upcoming council election, in effect throwing a late curve ball
to candidates in a campaign season already in full swing.
"I think of this as a long-term governance issue," he said. "It's
not about this election."
Third, Heffernan said that the matter should be considered by the
Heffernan has called for a study session to consider whether an
ordinance similar to one being considered in Los Angeles could make
elected officials' more accountable to residents. The ordinance would
prohibit council members from awarding contracts to or voting on
matters benefiting anyone who has worked on their campaigns or who
has a too-close professional relationship with the council member.
Heffernan's idea came after revelations that the firm of Dave
Ellis was paid about $458,000 out of a city grant for airport
education. Ellis is the campaign manager for incumbents Tod Ridgeway
and Gary Adams, as well as for candidates Don Webb and Bernie
The deal does not appear to violate any existing
conflict-of-interest rules, which require a council member to abstain
from voting on any council business that would profit that council
member. Under Heffernan's proposed ordinance, relationships that work
the other way, such as that of a paid campaign consultant, would also
The ordinance would likely face strong opposition with the current
council. Heffernan is the sole Greenlight council member, and is
often in disagreement with the other council members.
Candidate Rick Taylor, who is endorsed by the Greenlight
Committee, said he thinks such an ordinance would be a good idea.
"It could definitely help put the decision making back into the
hands of the people," Taylor said.