Ethics in the City

City Council on Monday is set to decide whether the mayor’s removal of chair John Guio from the Plan Commission for an ethics violation is proper.

You’ll have to excuse me for not believing the party line here. IMO this was a move based on politics, not ethics. Consider:

— Another Plan Commission member, Vince Frye, was allowed to poison the well on the vote for the hog slaughtering operation just a few weeks ago. No penalty.

— Alderman Ron Naylor, a retired city employee, has made some errors in discussing post-employment healthcare benefits in violation of the ordinance that sets rules for proper meeting behavior. No penalty.

— Alderman Bert Simpson blasted me for criticizing Community Enhancement commissioner Paul Rasmussen for publicly supporting the utilities burial plan without identifying himself as a former city staff member who had helped come up with the plan. Rasmussen is now a “private citizen,” the argument went, and basic ethics rules do not apply to him anymore.

Wogengate. City staff involved in under-the-radar contracts to a sitting alderman are still there. The ordinance dealing with aldermen and future contracts does not even meet state standards.

If the administration really wants to pull out an ethics yardstick at this moment, great! — but use it to measure everyone, not just political adversaries.

Link: ICMA Code of Ethics (H/T S.B.)