Ethics ordinance addressed by council
By Stephanie Johns
Members of the Madison City Council and city staff talked about aligning their ethics ordinance during their noon work session Jan. 11.
Councilman Michael Naples said that they spoke about this alignment almost a year ago on Jan. 23, 2012.
“We don’t have a valid ethics ordinance,” he said. “We ought to direct our attorney to work on this.”
Mayor Bruce Gilbert agreed.
City Clerk Mellie Thomas later explained that the mayor and council directed her to share the ethics ordinance with City Attorney Joe Reitman.
While no vote is taken during a work session, Thomas later noted that the mayor and council will consider the ethics ordinance at their next work session on Jan. 28.
It will be on the agenda for a vote at their meeting.
Councilman Fred Perriman asked if volunteers would serve if held accountable under the ethics ordinance.
City Manager David Nunn said the volunteers want safe harbor.
During a September 2012 meeting of the mayor and council, one citizen, David Land, shared his concerns about holding volunteer board members accountable. He also mentioned his concern about the possibility that volunteers would be subject to a $1,000 fine.
Councilman Whitey Hunt said he did not think they would lose anybody.
“We have good, honest people on our committees,” he said.
In other news, Nunn said the city has defended its right of way in response to a question about a property line on Allen Street.
“We’re coming to an understanding,” he said.
Nunn said the city has a deed from the 1970s, which he has shared with the property owners.
Printed in the January 24, 2013 edition.