That moment you realize the ethics can just hasn't been kicked, but also been run over and trapped under the rear bumper of a City Council member's car and dragged down the road with sparks flying.
Jason Norbury and Nick Parker were wrong. Again. Jason's cynicism wasn't high enough and Nick's optimism was apparently unwarranted. The Lee's Summit Town Hall hosts break down the — ahem— discussion from the Lee's Summit City Council dais over the voter mandated code of ethics. After 7 months of toiling in the rules committee, and another month of delays before the full Council could discuss the proposed ordinance, our eight elected representatives finally had their opportunity to speak on the record about establishing a procedure and set of rules for how its members will act in their official capacity.
So, what happened? Well, as Jason and Nick point out, not much of anything. One group of Council members insisted it go back to committee (where it was previously unanimously recommended to Council) without specific reasons why. Another Council member offered specific reasons, but those were mostly not-so-subtle demands that any rules be stricken of consequence. The rules committee chair, Trisha Carlyle (District 2), asked for reasons why it should go back and then two others offered nothing but silence.
You may be asking why this matters. You may wonder why Nick and Jason keep spending time on this issue. For starters, the voters of Lee's Summit overwhelmingly voted for this provision in the City's Charter. And secondly, we as citizens need to demand our elected representatives conduct themselves, and the business of the city, in an ethical manner. Not only should we demand it, but they should willingly adhere to this pledge and know there are consequences if you break the rules. Questions of ethical conduct have swirled around this body and slowed productive dialogue for nearly 24 months now. It is time for some accountability.
And our final reason for harping on this. It's just one more example of why we constantly urge listeners to be active and involved members of the community. It's whey we're always asking more people to run for office. We've had way too many uncontested elections in our community and that means less conversation and fewer opportunities to hold people accountable. Competition in the election cycle demands conversation and demands the ultimate form of accountability — the ballot box.
Lee's Summit Town Hall is a weekly podcast conversation, produced by Link 2 Lee's Summit, highlighting local issues and people in Lee's Summit, Missouri. Each week, hosts Jason Norbury and Nick Parker discuss pertinent issues and topics concerning local residents and introduce listeners to some of the people who help make Lee's Summit a vibrant and growing community. Catch the show each week on this web site, Stitcher Radio, or subscribe to the podcast at link2leessummit.com or at iTunes or GooglePlay.