A few weeks ago I posed a question to a question (not a complaint) to the Ethical Practices Board. Their discussion today indicated that they will be taking action on the issue. Just like many others, they found the board appointment process the City Council seriously flawed. Though that is not the direct mission of the Ethical Process Board; they will comment anyway.
A literal reading of Clause 2E would indicate that the RAB lobbyist and a large number of other board members would be in violation of the code of ethics, but that is probably not the intent. As such there will be a language revision forthcoming.
E. Represent private interests before the Common Council or any City committee, board, commission or agency.
The person in question does represent several private interests competing for a contract before the Heart of the City Committee but so long as he recuses himself from the process or voting on a recommended consultant he should be OK. That said I am not sure how much else the committee will do.
Here were some interesting quotes I overheard from board members:
Something about this makes up feel icky. – Kylie Osterhus
The vetting process leaves a lot to be desired – Joe O’Toole
Actions to be taken by Ethical Practices Board include:
- Rewording language in Clause E.
- Letter to City Council requesting conflict of interest information to be included in future application processes.
- Letter to City Council requesting improvements to the appointment process including transparency and turnaround time.
While it is not a direct action, comments made by the board (my own understanding) would indicate that a conflict of interest would exist if:
- If a committee member acts on behalf of a client, or in this case, paying members of the RAB to participate the process or direct the awarding any Heart of the City business to someone he represents.
I will withhold judgement until I see the final body of work. Glad we are taking action to clarify this though.
Will the council act on board appointment recommendations?
The issue is sensitive enough & broad enough that there will be action – Joe O’Toole
We shall see… – Michael Wojcik