Good Monday to you, Yokels! In the Frederick News Post this morning we have a nice report on the panel that met yesterday. The League of Women Voters had County Council President Bud Otis, Chair of the Ethics Task Force Linda Norris-Waldt and Ethics Commission Chair Brian Duncan come together. The topic? The new ethics recommendations.
We need to pause here because we are so happy we could cry. Here we have an elected official, a member of a task force, and the head of a government commission all in one place to discuss and answer questions about the new ethics recommendations with the public. It makes us want to run through a meadow of daisies to know that the dark days of the previous BOCC are over. No longer will our concerns be ignored or our emails answered with a snarky reply. (Why didn’t we save those?!)
Anyway, back to the panel. Bud had this to say:
“We have nothing to hide,” Otis said. “We’re going to have an ethics ordinance. I’m going to fight for it and I believe there’s enough members of the council who feel the same way.”
We hope so, Bud! The council needs to come together to write a good, solid ethics ordinance so we don’t have the problems of the past. Those who are still upset about Kirby not getting his contracts should ask themselves this: why didn’t Kirby wait until the new recommendations came out to ask for an opinion? Why did he feel the need to get his opinion so quickly? After all, he had not been able to bid on contracts for the last four years (does anyone remember any uproar then?), so why the rush? We would like to see the County Council take one of Kirby’s suggestions under consideration. The appointment of this board needs to be as independent as it can be. If not, we are in for years and years of partisan accusations.
Now, these recommendations are not a done deal just yet.
Otis said during the panel Sunday that he takes ethics very seriously. It’s likely that not everyone on the council is in support of the bill giving the ethics commission more powers, he said, so he stressed that people in the community need to come out to the public hearing to voice their support for the changes.
Click here to send an email to the County Council. Or better yet show up at the hearing. We know we are in danger of really getting sappy with this post today; however, we have a thank you we must make. To those of you who “accidentially” voted for Mr. Otis because you thought he was going to continue the status quo, a heartfelt thank you. We will fully admit that we couldn’t see through our partisan haze to give him a shot. Live and learn!