In the hands of politicians, government ethics can be wielded as a
double-edged sword, as can be seen in recent events in Mandeville (LA),
a city of 12,000 just across Lake Pontchartrain from New Orleans.
The Partisanship of Ethics
The first pleasant surprise involves a
blogger (Advance Indiana) who is disgusted with his own party's
unethical conduct in his city/county, Indianapolis/Marion County. A
native of Illinois, he compares it to Chicago, and he notes that his
party took office because of the other party's unethical conduct. In
this era of partisan blogging, it...
Assuming you can learn a lot from the mistakes made in local government
ethics matters in cities and towns other than your own, there is a
great deal to learn from a simple ethics matter that, through a number
of mistakes, oversights and, apparently, partisanship has been turned
into a big issue in the city of Torrington
(CT; pop. 36,000). There's also a lesson to be learned about the
confidentiality of ethics commission decisions...
Two months ago, I
out Patricia Salkin's new summary
reported cases dealing with ethical aspects of local government land use matters.
I'm finally getting around to analyzing one of them that provides a
fascinating perspective on why conflicts of interest are important. The
decision shows that, when you look at...
Tallahassee takes a compliance approach to ethics. Its ethics code is
aspirational, based on core values. Its ethics training employs a
Character First approach. Conflicts of interest are only a small
portion of a program that ranges from personnel and transparency issues
to harassment, discrimination, and fraud.
This is not the sort of ethics program usually discussed in this blog,
because it is not what is...