Auburn

Auburn's ethics board stalled in nominations process

2012-10-11T03:05:00Z 2012-10-16T17:18:05Z Auburn's ethics board stalled in nominations processNathan Baker The Citizen Auburn Citizen
October 11, 2012 3:05 am  • 

City officials, all anxious to reactivate the city's ethics review board, are puzzled as to why members of the board have still not been named.

After new members were sworn in to their seats on the Auburn City Council in January, one of the first orders of business the new council tackled was an update of the city's ethics code.

On Feb. 2, city councilors first proposed changes to the city's ethics code, asking for changes to the practices for reporting financial disclosures and adding two seats to the three-member ethics board.

The board was created in 1987 and has been vacant since 1991, despite several attempts by subsequent mayors to restart the panel.

In the spring, the council enacted the new section of the city's ethics code, which requires all members of the board to be appointed by the mayor and the city council.

Upon its approval, City Manager Douglas Selby asked each councilor to submit names to be considered for appointment. Last month, he said not all of the councilors had submitted names and asked them to do so.

"We have received names from some members of council, but some of them still haven't done that," Selby said Wednesday. "Staff have reminded them to do so, but we're still waiting for some of the names."

The four out of five council members who responded to phone calls Wednesday said they had already submitted names and were anxious to populate the ethics board.

"I submitted my name, I don't know who hasn't supplied theirs," Mayor Michael Quill said. "Being in government for so long, I realize that it moves very slowly sometimes, but at one point the council was very much involved and wanted this ethics board done immediately. It seems like the ball has been dropped now."

Councilors William Graney and Matthew Smith said they too had submitted the names of their candidates more than six months ago.

"I absolutely would like to see this board formed," Graney said. "It's kind of been dragging on way too long."

"I gave two potential names six, seven months ago," Smith said. "We as a council discussed some names in executive session. I think this is something we planned on doing, and now we need to follow through on it."

Councilor John Camardo said he would bring the issue up again at Thursday's council meeting.

"We need to get it started, unfortunately we've been tied up with other issues," Camardo said. "We need to remind the councilors about this board and the parking waiver board we discussed."

Councilor Peter Ruzicka did not return calls for comment Wednesday.

Staff writer Nathan Baker can be reached at 282-2238 or nathan.baker@lee.net. Follow him on Twitter @CitizenBaker.

Copyright 2015 Auburn Citizen. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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