City of Tallahassee to Hold Ethics Workshop

City of Tallahassee to Hold Ethics Workshop

This Wednesday, February 16, 2022, in City Commission Chamber at 10.00 a.m., the City of Tallahassee will convene an Ethics Workshop. The workshop will take citizen input then city commissioners discuss matters related to ethics, including the recommendations by the Independent Ethics Board.

During a city meeting in October 2021, the commissioners requested an ethics workshop. Later that same month, at another city meeting, Independent Ethics Board Attorney John Reid presented a summary of an ethics reform proposal, which will be discussed at the workshop on February 16.

The Ethics Board recommendations are as follows:

Draft Ordinance No. 02-ORD-01: refining “lobbying” to eliminate ambiguity as in the current definition to better protect individuals and entities engaging with city government. In addition, the ordinance will codify information required in the current registration form and direct individuals to ensure lobbyists are registered. Also, it is suggested that lobbyists submit logs documenting contact with officials and banning contingency fees for lobbyists appearing before the city.

Draft Ordinance No, 20-ORD-02: proposes adding “lobbyists appearing before the city” to the “persons subject to the ethics committee jurisdiction.” Meaning the charter amendment will expand the jurisdiction to include lobbyists, allowing the committee to better enforce lobbyist ordinances.

Draft Ordinance No. 21-ORD-01: proposes redefining “misuse of position” to limit violations to those acts not consistent with the proper performance of a public official. The ordinance also wishes to allow the Board to dismiss complaints at any time during the administration process and enact resolutions less than an investigation or hearing.

The Ethics Board also seeks to be authorized to receive and process whistleblower complaints under state law. For this to occur, the city must amend the Code of General Ordinances, granting authority for the Tallahassee Independent Ethics Board to operate in conjunction with the Office of the Inspector General as an appropriate local official or separately in a limited capacity.

Lastly, the Ethics Board requests clarification of the city’s intent as to over whom the committee has jurisdiction, such as public officials and employees on city advisory boards, for instance, the Blueprint Intergovernmental Agency.

During a previous meeting in November 2021, Reid provided a legal opinion on the Ethics Board’s jurisdiction that differed from City Attorney Cassandra Jackson’s opinion. The commissioners moved forward with the latter.

The Ethics Board aims to make minor changes to the ethics ordinances to allow more transparency and “objectivity, fairness, and impartiality in the complaint process. The recommendations submitted for the city commission’s consideration are limited to the (Ethics) Board’s authorization section in the city charter and those ordinances regulating lobbyists and lobbying.”

8 Responses to "City of Tallahassee to Hold Ethics Workshop"

  1. That this group needs an ethics workshop, particularly those of them who have been in office for years and years and years, is pathetic. All the ethical trouble the City has been through… all the exposed corruption and mis/malfeasance… and you need a lesson in ethics?

    Embarrassing to say the least

  2. Now that we have an entire independent ethics board with their own independent attorney at least we might be able to better maintain an outward appearance of honesty based on just the vast amount of taxpayer money the taxpayers are now being forced to spend on maintaining the false illusion of honesty of our elected Nannies.
    Sigh…however we will all miss the non stop entertainment of the in our face lying from our old system when Meadows-Keefe would just proclaim every inappropriate thing to be ethical despite the fact everyone knew she was lying.
    Well yeah nothing will actually change from the Meadows-Keefe days it will just look better because we spent a boat load more money which works for the leftist voter base and makes them believe our Nannies care about ethics and honesty when in fact they don’t. It’s the leftist way to address each and every problem the Nannies feel may prevent them from reelection and the subsequent loss of the only power they have ever known in their lives. Let me close with a definition.
    Politics: it’s like a beauty contest for ugly people.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.