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Updated: February 27, 2017 @ 6:52 am
February 27, 2017
For the record The Ethics board has ruled on several complaints NONE which were generated by a member of the board. So to say the board has “yet to act on any formal complaint” is not true. I would ask the “critics” how are we “political” when our duty is to deal with citizen complaints that may or may not involve “political” individuals? We may discuss a situation because it has been brought to our attention and been placed on an agenda but we do not “generate” complaints. We act on complaints filed and sworn to by the citizens. The reason each councilmember was asked to select a citizen for appointment to the board is to ensure that each councilmember had a say in the selection of the board and to be held accountable should their selection prove to be “politically motivated”. The process being looked into would remove any form of accountability to the citizens by the city council. The discussion over the selection process of the board members was done when it was created. All the options being discussed now were looked at and the present process was selected as being the most fair and open way to do it. The present selection process tells you a lot about the councilmember who select them. To date I can say without reservation that the individuals who have been selected by the present process have been fair and honest and have not used politics as a basis for their decisions. Not a single one. When a process is working why would you decide to “fix it” ? I guess the question is should the citizens expect an ethics board that is fair and impartial or should they expect members of the board who are just “proxies” to their council member? I believe the present selection process works.
It appears that Mayor Paulissen is attempting to create a "fair" subcommittee to come up with a "fair" selection process - he names a Repub, a Dem, and a Buzbee tea partier.
As a proud co-sponsor of the City's first ever Ethics ordinance, I welcome a review of the ordinance, and any tweaking which will improve the ordinance. However, Mr. Mallios is correct in that the then Council decided on the current selection process because it does keep the accountability with the elected Councilmembers.
Drawing names out of a hat? Seriously?
As to accusations of politics on the board - - the current membership is composed of a couple of staunch liberals and a couple of staunch conservatives, all with strong beliefs. This inaugural board worked though their own process of how they would conduct themselves, within the structure of the ethics ordinance (without meddling, or political influence, from then councilmembers).
To my knowledge, the board has only reviewed complaints from City residents - including a complaint against Mr. Mann for saying "God D***" during a recorded Council meeting. The board reviewed the complaint, and took no action.
Methinks the conservative "dream team" wants a board makeup who thinks like they do.
Ethics boards are a good watchdog to have. I would prefer that they be chosen in the same way that Grand Juries are at the County Level. I'm in GA now for school, and the stuff happening out here is Incredible with the Governor and other issues. We definitely need ethics boards.
Question 1:Is the change needed, or is it just wanted?Question 2:Why?Any person agreeing to work on an ethics board who DID let their personal politics or opinions get in the way of decision making based on the fact finding would, themselves, be in need of an ethics review.New admin's usually want to change things to suit their personal phylosophies or goals...no surprise there. But an ethics committee is supposed to be apolitical, so some serious thought should be given as to whether change, just for the sake of change, is needed.Change for change sake hasn't always worked out so well...
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