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Ethics Commission Vote: Good News Or Bad News?

Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2010

In last week's election in Palm Beach County, Florida , 72% of the voters voted "yes" to adopt a charter change strengthening the ethics commission and the authority of the county's inspector general.

That's the good news.

The bad news is that the town of Palm Beach tried to convince voters to defeat the measure. Now that it has passed, the council president says the voters didn't know what they were doing when they voted in favor of the change. He argues the measure didn't allow the town's residents to vote for the county change while voting to exclude the town.

Prior to the election the mayor and councilmembers passed a resolution urging voters to "carefully consider the disadvantages of the amendment," leading some residents to say they did understand, and the vote reflected their lack of trust in local officials.

The county ethics commission chair is optimistic about the charter change, saying it enchances integrity in government throughout the county. Costs will be shared by all 38 county municipalities.

The mayor and council should stop complaining about the outcome of the election and welcome additional resources to fight corruption, even if they have to pay for it.



Tags: elections, ethics codes, Florida, Palm Beach

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