According to the
blog of Kansas City, MO's mayor
, Sly James, the KC Commission
on Ethics Reform will be holding a public hearing tomorrow on its draft
It's clear from the draft that the commission made excellent use of
the City Ethics Model Code. The result is a good draft that
falls short in a few very important areas.
Most important, the ethics commission would be selected by the mayor.
The mayor would even select who the chair is, something that is
ordinarily left to a board or commission. Any time the commission is
seen as letting off the mayor or a mayoral ally, or coming down hard
on a mayoral opponent, it will undermine the public's trust in the
ethics program. There would be a big conflict at the heart of a
program designed to prevent conflicts and to gain the public's trust
in its city government. Ethics commission independence, real and
perceived, is the single most important part of an ethics program.
It is the foundation on which everything else stands.