City’s ethics watchdog lacks teeth
June 10, 2014 09:02 PM | 1440 views | 2 2 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend | print

A friend pointed me to an announcement on the City of Marietta web page. He knew of my active interest in government transparency and the ethics, or lack thereof, displayed by certain of our elected leaders. The first paragraph reads:

“The Marietta City Council is seeking resumes and/or letters of interest from individuals interested in serving on the Ethics Committee as the Council appointment. The City Council will make the appointment to fill the vacancy following personal interviews. Applicants must be residents of the City of Marietta and be able to serve a two-year term.”

It turns out that I’m not a resident of the city of Marietta to anyone but the Post Office, and serving a two-year-term can only be an aspirational goal for someone like me nearing his 79th birthday.

But, as my friend knows, I am interested in ethics, and ways to make that more than just a once-in-a-while Sunday school subject, so I took a look at the city’s Ethics Board.

Turns out there are supposed to be three members, one appointed by the mayor, one appointed by the city council and a third appointed by the first two, subject to the approval of the council. The third member must be in good standing with the State Bar of Georgia.

The mayor’s appointee’s term expired three months ago and the council’s appointee’s term expires next week, so someone had better get cracking.

Are we so proud of our elected officials’ adherence to the rules we learned in our mothers’ arms that we can continue to look the other way and allow them to pick their own judges and juries?

A long-lasting, and indisputably true, motto in the military is “Don’t expect what you can’t inspect!”

The transparency of this ethics boondoggle is of no value if we ignore the hypocrisy of this implementation. This is true, up and down the line at all levels of our government.

And we need go no further than the state level to see that an ethics board really can be an effective tool to root out those rascals slopping at the public trough.

Gary Pelphrey


Comments-icon Post a Comment
Peter Tax
June 11, 2014
Well said, and frightening. The end is near.
Long Gone
June 11, 2014
Phillip would be long gone if their were real ethics enforcement.
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