making local government more ethical

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Robert Wechsler

Yesterday, the Supreme Court delivered a blow to municipal government employee rights in its decision in Garcetti et al v. Ceballos.

Essentially, Justice Kennedy, for the majority of five, decided to limit the 1968 Pickering balancing test (between the interests of the employee as citizen in commenting on matters of public concern, and the interests of the State as employer in promoting efficiency of public services...

Robert Wechsler

Terry L. Price's new book, Understanding Ethical Failures in Leadership (Cambridge University Press, 2006), provoked in me a great deal of thinking about what is behind the ethical failures of elected and appointed municipal officials. I will be talking in terms of officials, but Price speaks only in terms of leaders in general, with an emphasis on governmental leaders.

His central thesis is that such ethical failures are fundamentally cognitive rather than volitional, that is...


I am interested in getting some feedback on this point:
In a recent incident, there was perhaps no legal issue, but there was an undeniable perception that something unethical had occurred. What are your views on the thin red line between these points (i.e. "legal" and "perceived as unethical")

Ed Charbonneau

Has any one had any experience where the government unit has oursourced what would normally be considered a government activity and then imposed the government's ethics policy on the contractor?


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City would link incentives, behavior

By Steve Patterson
Times-Union staff writer - published in 2000 in the Jacksonville Times Union

Racism charges at the Adam's Mark hotel chain are helping fuel an ethical debate at Jacksonville City Hall.