making local government more ethical
All stories and pages related to the Model Code Project
Time is a very important element of conflicts of interest. Some conflicts simply exist, but others either occur suddenly or suddenly become relevant.
According to a January 15 memorandum, a week from today the Dallas city council will be considering an amendment to the city's ethics code, which would exclude municipal management district (MMD) board members from the ethics code (it has already been approved by the council's economic development committee).

MMDs are developer-controlled political subdivisions that can raise taxes and collect fees from real property owners in their districts. They were created in 2009 to develop three particular areas of the city. Although three city employees sit on each board, the boards are controlled by developers.

Applicant disclosure is an effective part of local government ethics that is usually ignored. Usually it is officials who are required to disclose potential conflicts of interest, either in the form of annual disclosure statements, revised when circumstances change, or in the form of announcements that they have a potential conflict and are withdrawing from involvement in a matter.
John Hazlehurst's observation on the Colorado Springs ethics commission's dismissal of a complaint against the mayor is valuable enough to deserve a separate blog post, rather than a mere update to my original post on this topic.

An important issue involved the mayor's insistence that, as an investment adviser, he could not disclose the names of his clients. This means that, effectively, he could not fulfill his city's conflict of interest requirements; his professional confidentiality obligation overrode the law.

Hazlehurst takes a strong position on this:  "The Mayor can either serve his employer, or the people of this city.  He can’t just walk a tightrope, and pretend to serve both.  If his employment is of such a nature that he can’t reveal possibly conflictual actions, he should resign either from UBS or from elected office."