Because Massachusetts has one of the better state ethics programs with
jurisdiction over local officials, there
are very few local ethics programs, unlike the situation in Florida,
California, or Texas, for example.
But there have been some recent ethics reform efforts at the local level. Most recently, according to
article last week in the Boston Globe
, the new Boston mayor
has appointed members to serve on a new Ethics Committee, which will
have the authority to develop annual disclosure statements,
establish an ethics training program, and "reassess our internal
policies and procedures."
The four EC members include Boston's corporation counsel, a lawyer
specializing in government law, a university chancellor, and a
former executive director of the state EC.
In Somerville, a suburb of Boston, the mayor has taken an unusual
approach in the
ethics ordinance he proposed last week
. It is a combination of
an ex parte communications prohibition and the disclosure of
communications. Its focus is solely on elected officials, that is,
on the board of aldermen and the schools committee. Here is a description of the proposed rules: