City Councilman Ricky Burgess and Councilwoman Theresa Kail-Smith proposed legislation to accompany Pittsburgh's Campaign Finance Reform legislation titled "Resign to Run" today. The legislation limits Pittsburgh elected officials from running for a higher elected office while on the public payroll.
Burgess says, "The public should not pay for the ambition of elected officials. We have seen a culture of corruption where elected officials use the resources of their offices to subsidize their political campaign."
The legislation is modeled on Allegheny County's Home Rule Charter, and specifically effects the mayor and city council offices. Under the "Resign to Run" policy, the mayor would not be allowed to run for any other office in the city of Pittsburgh but city council officials would not be allowed to run for any other political office without resigning first.
Five other states, Arizona, Georgia, Florida, Hawaii and Texas, have already implemented similar legislation and Burgess believes that it will benefit the public by keeping the focus on public policy, limiting corruption, and eliminating career politicians. "Our city has significant challenges and we need our elected officials to focus on the task at hand instead of the next political office."
Burgess says that no person or event influenced this legislation, but he thought it was an issue that needed to be addressed. "Resign to Run," if approved, will not effect the 2011 election cycle, but will take effect in the 2012.