Councilman Rader Proposes Ethics Commission

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Jim O'Bryan
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Councilman Rader Proposes Ethics Commission

Postby Jim O'Bryan » Mon Dec 24, 2018 12:58 pm

Councilman Tristan Rader has proposed an Ethics Commission, In 2019 Councilman Rader will be introducing an ordinance that establishes a city ethics commission. Its mission will be to:
• Serve as an ethics oversight institution which is permanent, dedicated to Lakewood, and approaches this issue with both professionalism and independence
• Answer ethics questions and investigate ethics complaints
• Provide for ethics training.
• Provide the community with a specific, local authority on government ethics questions.
• Enforce ethics rules to create fairness in government

He has reached out an asked for help from the entire community for their input, you can read more at his website.
http://www.tristanrader.com/blog/ethics-commission/?fbclid=IwAR35lwHEmT4kxu846pmZyd8uq4NiIomMpYye701PWQ57eulCg7FGoHidMxg

Thank you Councilman Rader!

.


Jim O'Bryan
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"The very act of observing disturbs the system."
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Bridget Conant
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Re: Councilman Rader Proposes Ethics Commission

Postby Bridget Conant » Mon Dec 24, 2018 2:54 pm

I hope there is a provision that no city employee is able to meet the requirement by having another employee attend the training for them, as has been the practice of the current administration


Dan Alaimo
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Re: Councilman Rader Proposes Ethics Commission

Postby Dan Alaimo » Mon Dec 24, 2018 3:22 pm

As I posted elsewhere:

Who appoints the commission, and how?
What kind of teeth (enforcement capability) will it have?


"When tyrants tremble, sick with fear,
And hear their death-knell ringing,
When friends rejoice both far and near,
How can I keep from singing?"
--from the Pete Seeger version of "How can I keep from singing?"
Mark Kindt
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Re: Councilman Rader Proposes Ethics Commission

Postby Mark Kindt » Wed Dec 26, 2018 11:54 am

My highest compliments to Council-member Tristan Rader for developing this initiative and proposing this legislation.

While the Third Amended Charter established some basic ground rules, our local government will be well-served by a more active and involved government-ethics process.

I, for one, really look forward to public discussion on this topic.


Stan Austin
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Re: Councilman Rader Proposes Ethics Commission

Postby Stan Austin » Wed Dec 26, 2018 1:46 pm

I think this is a very positive and forward looking proposal by Council Member Rader. The discussion that it will promote will certainly be interesting especially with local elections coming up this Fall.


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Jim O'Bryan
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Re: Councilman Rader Proposes Ethics Commission

Postby Jim O'Bryan » Wed Dec 26, 2018 6:30 pm

Stan Austin wrote:I think this is a very positive and forward looking proposal by Council Member Rader. The discussion that it will promote will certainly be interesting especially with local elections coming up this Fall.



Stan

It is positive that Councilman Rader realizes there are ethic issues afoot at City Hall. It is also nice to finally get some acknowledgement from City Hall, that there could have been issues in the past.

However, enforcement will be an issue, as will finding the board. We just went through a bunch of BS and hundreds of ethics issues, and 44% of the voting public said they do not care about ethics as long as their side won.

.


Jim O'Bryan
Lakewood Resident

"The very act of observing disturbs the system."
Werner Heisenberg

"If anything I've said seems useful to you, I'm glad.
If not, don't worry. Just forget about it."
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Bill Call
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Re: Councilman Rader Proposes Ethics Commission

Postby Bill Call » Thu Dec 27, 2018 6:49 am

I am unimpressed.

If Councilman Rader cares about ethics in government he should demand that Mayor Summers release all documents related to the transfer of Hospital assets to the Cleveland Clinic and private foundations.

Councilman Rader should demand that the Mayor release all documents requested by Brian Essi. He should also demand that the Mayor stop fighting the court order requiring that the documents be released.

Councilman Rader should also demand that the City waive attorney client privilege so that ALL the documents can be released.

Why is it that the City can hire attorneys to represent the City in negotiations to dispose of a City assets and pay those attorneys with City funds but claim attorney client privilege in an attempt keep City documents secret from the people of Lakewood?

The proposal for an ethics commission is just a smoke screen to hide Councilman Rader's refusal to actually insist on ethics in government. I suspect that the commission will be staffed with various cronies of the Mayor. Their primary goal will be to give the appearance of honesty and openness while providing cover for the Mayor and Council. The secondary goal will be to harass political opponents.

If you want ethics in government then do the right thing.


Mark Kindt
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Re: Councilman Rader Proposes Ethics Commission

Postby Mark Kindt » Thu Dec 27, 2018 11:48 am

We Have to Start Somewhere

If we adopt an attitude of sheer cynicism about the possibility of municipal reform or improved ethics-in-government, we have already conceded the field and there is no point in bothering with any of this.

We just might as well keep this all as business as usual.

If we cannot support the efforts of our recently-elected council-members, then there is little or, perhaps, no point in attempting to elect new and different voices to city council.

A considerable effort and a great deal of thought is embodied in this ethics reform proposal.

It may or may not be adopted, but it does attempt to fill an unusual (and rather antiquated) void in the municipal government.

Whether you agree or disagree with Council-member Rader, we should, at least, acknowledge that the proposal is significant, timely, and important--Indeed, much needed.

This is a substantial initiative that deserves positive support. It represents a very strong culmination of a young elected official's first year of efforts.

Kudos to Mr. Rader for his effort.


Kate McCarthy
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Re: Councilman Rader Proposes Ethics Commission

Postby Kate McCarthy » Thu Dec 27, 2018 1:50 pm

Bill Call wrote:I am unimpressed.

If Councilman Rader cares about ethics in government he should demand that Mayor Summers release all documents related to the transfer of Hospital assets to the Cleveland Clinic and private foundations.

Councilman Rader should demand that the Mayor release all documents requested by Brian Essi. He should also demand that the Mayor stop fighting the court order requiring that the documents be released.

Councilman Rader should also demand that the City waive attorney client privilege so that ALL the documents can be released.

Why is it that the City can hire attorneys to represent the City in negotiations to dispose of a City assets and pay those attorneys with City funds but claim attorney client privilege in an attempt keep City documents secret from the people of Lakewood?

The proposal for an ethics commission is just a smoke screen to hide Councilman Rader's refusal to actually insist on ethics in government. I suspect that the commission will be staffed with various cronies of the Mayor. Their primary goal will be to give the appearance of honesty and openness while providing cover for the Mayor and Council. The secondary goal will be to harass political opponents.

If you want ethics in government then do the right thing.

Please correct me if I am wrong, but Councilman Rader is the only member of council who has released a public statement regarding the public records court case. You can see it here: http://www.tristanrader.com/blog/public-records/. His statement here is a welcome counter-point to the city's ridiculous spin that they won the case. Unfortunately, he was not on council during the hospital debacle so your inclination to try to hang this on him is unfair. He was not a party to the communications hiding behind attorney-client privilege.

I applaud his efforts in in proposing an ethics commission and this will only work if there is a broad range of support behind his proposal. Remain unimpressed if you like, but I think this could be an important first step to set the city government right.


Stan Austin
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Re: Councilman Rader Proposes Ethics Commission

Postby Stan Austin » Thu Dec 27, 2018 3:39 pm

Kate--- good points. Specificity might be the watchword in this upcoming discussion. Stan


Richard Baker
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Re: Councilman Rader Proposes Ethics Commission

Postby Richard Baker » Thu Dec 27, 2018 5:50 pm

A waste of time and political production that should meets on the stage at Becks Center, Like ants in s line to the sugar bowl. the ethics group will always serve the administration interests. Lakewood mayor and council are following the national Democrats philosophy of running a government can best be described below:

“A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the majority discovers it can vote itself largess out of the public treasury. After that, the majority always votes for the candidate promising the most benefits with the result the democracy collapses because of the loose fiscal policy ensuing, always to be followed by a dictatorship, then a monarchy.”
― Elmer Theodore Peterson


Dan Alaimo
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Re: Councilman Rader Proposes Ethics Commission

Postby Dan Alaimo » Fri Dec 28, 2018 1:28 am

The proposal is indeed impressive, long overdue, certainly important and deserving of our discussion.

It is also a textbook case of closing the stable/barn door after the horses have run off.
Collins Dictionary: "If you say that someone has closed or shut the stable door after the horse has bolted, you mean that they have tried to prevent something happening but they have done so too late to prevent damage being done."
But is was 175-200 million horses, or dollars, that have bolted from Lakewood, and that also is deserving of our attention, and more importantly of the City Council's attention. (See Mark Kindt's writings on the subject:
viewtopic.php?f=7&t=25049 )

In another discussion, Tristan Rader addressed the selection of commission members and the kind of enforcement capability, or teeth, it will have. He satisfied me that he is focused on both matters, although I wish he would bring his comments here to the Deck. I'm sure he will get plenty of push-back on this from the old guard before the proposal goes further. That concerns me, as does the sense that if Council passes this measure, they will feel absolved of responsibility of finding out who left the stable door open, exactly how many horses bolted, and where they went. A good first step will be to push NOW for the release of all documentation related to this debacle.

I know Council can do both: make the ethics commission a high priority, and ask for a thorough outside investigation of everything we all have been talking about here for several years now.


"When tyrants tremble, sick with fear,
And hear their death-knell ringing,
When friends rejoice both far and near,
How can I keep from singing?"
--from the Pete Seeger version of "How can I keep from singing?"
Bill Call
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Re: Councilman Rader Proposes Ethics Commission

Postby Bill Call » Fri Dec 28, 2018 6:44 am

Dan Alaimo wrote:The proposal is indeed impressive, long overdue, certainly important and deserving of our discussion.

It is also a textbook case of closing the stable/barn door after the horses have run off.


That is excellent point.

Issuing a public statement in favor of the City obeying a court order is meaningless. At some point in the future the City will obey the court order. Statements from Councilman Rader will have has much influence on the timing of that obedience as statements from Bill Call.

A statement by Councilman Rader demanding the release of ALL the documents and demanding that the City waive attorney client privilege would have more meaning but not much. The shredders are working overtime at City Hall.

What would make a difference? An investigation by the State Attorney General and a law suite against the private foundations that took control of City assets.

An ethics commission will be controlled by the people it is supposed to police and be staffed by the political allies of the current administration. It will eventually evolve into a tool to silence the political opposition.


Mark Kindt
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Re: Councilman Rader Proposes Ethics Commission

Postby Mark Kindt » Fri Dec 28, 2018 10:33 am

So This Really IS Pointless

So far the consensus is pretty skeptical about all of this:

More than one written complaint was made to the Ohio Attorney General and the Ohio Auditor of State. They had no interest in the matter, even when it was fresh in 2015/2016.

Mr. Call's proposed lawsuit is also stale and would cost about $250,000 to $400,000 to conduct with any degree of success.

I will make the obvious point, that Mr. Rader was not elected until 2017 and by then, to continue the metaphor, the cattle were long-gone from the ranch.

Any action taken now has to, by its very nature, be prospective.

(The concepts of self-government embodied in American constitutionalism seems entirely unacceptable to Mr. Baker and he seems to be suggesting a return to the British monarchy at a minimum, or worse.)

With respect to the release of all withheld documents, that demand should be propounded to all members of city council.

While no one is satisfied with a demolished hospital and violations of Ohio law, this is where we find ourselves now.

After years of litigation, there is some limited clarity. That limited clarity justifies Mr. Rader's ethics-in-government initiative.

If we can't even support this, then we are just flannel-mouthing about reform.



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