At their October 28th workshop, Tallahassee City Commissioners voted to pass several proposals granting more power to the Independent Ethics Board. The Commissioners spoke on the ethics reform proposals at the end of the workshop.
Commissioner Elaine Bryant said she hoped the ethics reform package would let the Ethics Board and the community know “how much we’re committed to being not only an ethical Commission but an ethical City in what we do from day to day.”
“I’m on board with what we’ve done here today,” said Commissioner Dianne Williams-Cox. “I think that we all didn’t get everything, but we got something, and it’s a great step forward to move our city forward ethically.”
She said she hopes the ethics package will be effective without “penalizing ethical people who are trying to do the right thing moving forward.”
Commissioner Jeremy Matlow said, “We’ve done a lot of really good work here today, I think. We didn’t agree on everything, but I think the City can see that we all take ethics very seriously. We’ve got some really strong reforms, and we’re moving in the right direction.”
Commissioner Curtis Richardson said, “I voted for the ethics package when it came before the voters, and I believed then as I believe now that it was the right thing to do. It was something that we did prospectively…when this was passed, there was no corruption in the City of Tallahassee that it was based on.”
Richardson disagreed with the idea that Tallahassee is known for corruption.
“I take exception to the fact that anyone would suggest we have to reset the City’s moral compass because it is so out of whack that it has to be reset,” he said. “I don’t agree with that. I want the City to know, I want our employees to know that we are proud of the work that they do, that they come to work every day and do the job that they were hired to do morally, ethically, and with integrity.”
Mayor John Dailey concluded the workshop with his closing remarks.
“We just passed the most significant ethics reform since the inception of the Ethics Board,” he said.
He said he supports the annual audit considered by the Ethics Board, and he recommended streamlining how the Ethics Board and the City Commission work together in the future.
“I think this is a package that we can all, as I have said from the beginning, we can all wrap our arms around, embrace, and be very, very proud of,” Dailey said. “This starts a great new day with an incredible new relationship. Today shows how the Ethics Board and the City Commission can work hand-in-hand to put together a great ethics package.”