Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Does Private Board Membership Create a Conflict of Interest for Ronnie Steine and Rip Ryman?

Could it be considered a conflict of interest for at-Large Council Member Ronnie Steine to sit on the boards of three non-profits at the same time that he is sponsoring an ordinance that would close non-profit board meetings to the public whenever public contributions were the subject of board consideration? Whether the law that he is intended to prohibit is bad or not, it seems to me to be a fair question.

Fellow bill co-sponsor Rip Ryman sits on at least three private non-profit boards that I could find: Nashville Old Timers Baseball Association, East High Alumni Association, and the Nashville Sports Council. Considering that at least one of these organizations has received thousands in local tax dollars from Metro Council in the recent past, might Mr. Ryman's co-sponsorship be a conflict of interest, too?

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