It'll Take Until Fall 2013 to Create "Culture of Ethics" at City Hall. First, Call the Consultants.

Categories: City Hall
CraigKinton.jpg
City Auditor Craig Kinton
Yesterday we took a sneak peek at City Auditor Craig Kinton's audit that reveals the city's code of ethics comes up awful short. As in, for starters: It doesn't explicitly offer whistle-blowers protection. It doesn't task one City Hall monitor with keeping the city on the up-and-up. Its ethics commission doesn't have any real muscle. And the city doesn't even have a working number for its fraud hotline -- which, Kinton acknowledges, is on him and his office, sorry. This morning the official audit was released; it's below and contains the Chief Financial Officer Jeanne Chipperfield's response, which is, long story short, "Yup."

But now to the floor show, as Kinton just wrapped up giving the council's Budget, Finance & Audit Committee a measured talking-to. He was intro'd, of course, by Jerry Allen, chair of the committee and the man charged by Mayor Mike with giving the code of ethics the once-over. "Clearly there's been an image problem," said Allen, and citizens view their elected officials in something less than a positive light. Which, he acknowledged, is probably well-deserved.

"We're not in dire straits," Allen said at the end of Kinton's talk. "But this is the city of Dallas, and the city of Dallas always likes to be out front." Which is why, 12 years after the council voted on a code of ethics, the city's about to hire a consultant to show the city how to be ethical.

You read that right: "They intend to hire an outside consultant to access the effectiveness of the city's ethics program," Kinton told the council, "and address detected efficiencies" by September 2013.

To which Chipperfield later added, that consultant -- who'd be hired after the city puts out a request for proposals that's yet to be defined -- would "look at how we would work on creating this culture of ethics and putting in place a training program, more of an ongoing program, for employees to refresh themselves on the ethics program and how it works and, once the program's been put in place, review the effectiveness" of said program.

"It would appear maybe communicating, educating and oversight are areas for improvement," said Allen. So now the Ethics Advisory Commission, already a little confused about its duties, will get the audit, after which chair Randy Skinner and his group will come back to the council with their own best-practices recommendations to establish "a culture of ethics," as Allen explained it. Because "that's what we're working on -- a culture of ethics."

Not only that, said Allen, but he wants to put together a blue ribbon commission on ethics. "Dallas has a wealth of individuals that are out there that can give us guidance and direction that we can learn from," Allen said. "Establishing a blue ribbon commission, I think, will be important."

Oh, Jim?City's Ethics Audit
My Voice Nation Help
15 comments
Sort: Newest | Oldest
mark zero (Jason)
mark zero (Jason)

Sure, audit the commission on ethics, make it "blue ribbon."Much safer than actually looking at the people in government the commission was supposed to oversee.

Insider Out
Insider Out

Ever wonder how Mary Suhm can afford a personal trainer and Jeanne Chipperfield can afford $1k designer handbags?

Mary Suhm & Jeanne Chipperfield have already told the college degreeless Purchasing Director & politically appointed Assistant Purchasing Director how to write the RFP to make sure who they have already selected & negotiated a price with will get the contract. Trust me. Watch what happens.

MushMouth1
MushMouth1

I don't think I would be bringing Marty Kaan in to tell me about ethics. And ain't no way I'm introducing him to my wife either.

ChrisYu
ChrisYu

Culture of Ethicsi'd like to issue a band name alert

james
james

well they could start by firing themselves for being the lowlife politicians that they are.

NewsDog
NewsDog

I guess the strong mayor and ethical practices ideas laura Miller wanted to put in place sitll scare the folks on Marilla.

PlanoDave
PlanoDave

Given a strong mayor system, your Mayor could contact the heads of the many Fortune 500 companies in the area, have a few discussions, probably be offered assistance, and build a plan that would work.

Given the cluster-fuck that is your city council/mayor/city manager system, every person has ample reason to drag their feet and no one person can kick them in the ass to make them do what needs to be done.

Bottom line....bet short on this one.

Replay
Replay

If the Mayor, or any of the City Council "Colleagues", or the City Manager, or any of the City Staff had any morals or integrity, they wouldn't have to look outside of City Hall for help with ethics.

jfpo
jfpo

An ethics plan based on input from CEOs of Fortune 500 companies? Yeah, that'll work.

PlanoDave
PlanoDave

Sounds like you are confusing "ethics" with "morality"...

Mister_Mean
Mister_Mean

"Clearly there's been an image problem," said Allen, and citizens view their elected officials in something less than a positive light,  - - - -  Well I wonder why?   It does not take a rocket scientist to figure this out nor does it take more tax $$$ (mo consultants) to draft a code of ethics unless this is an admission that the city council members and executive staff are so corrupt (or so stupid) that they could not recognize basic morals if it hit them in the face! 2013!   Why the delay-I would think that this would be a priority.  Perhaps the city council and staff could pretend it is a suspension bridge or a horse park to get the show on the road.  Or perhaps more realistically it is after elections?

james
james

these people don't know what honesty or integrity or trust are.

Whodunnit
Whodunnit

Predictably, they will seek help from an outside consultant who will slowly, painstakingly (and at great expense, of course) grind out a report for them. But that will take more than a year, so I guess that means they will continue to act without ethics until then?

Talk about the "clown car"...........

Mike
Mike

I guess the idea of simply finding a city with a good ethics plan and photocopying it into the rule book was a non-starter?

Travis Rex
Travis Rex

it will take more than that...I'm thinking meltdown at Comanche Peak, zombie apocalypse, and a notarized picture of Arthur & Archie..maybe.

Now Trending

Dallas Concert Tickets

From the Vault

 

General

Loading...