Thursday, February 14, 2013

Of, By and For

As predicted the first volley in the war against ethics in Dunwoody governance takes aim squarely at accountability and transparency.

First we have the "frivolity filter". No this does not mean that the Lords and Ladies of council will no longer snicker and giggle at past and present public comment. This means that public speech will be officially squelched before it becomes troublesome. We have seen the last ethics complaint from Mr. Joe Hirsch and "Mr. Smith Who Goes To Dunwoody" might just as well stay home. And that is exactly what the City wants. You can tell because the bureaucrats behind this failed to provide a clear definition of "frivolity" and offered no proposal whatsoever for an appeals process.

Then we have pre-emptive pardons of any and all transgressions for key City employees:
"Staff further recommends that the Ethics Ordinance remove the City Clerk, City Attorney and City Manager from the Ordinance..."
So, the City Manager wants to wield the power of  a stack of $50,000.00 pre-approved checks unfettered by even the possibility that someone might question the goings-on of his office and more importantly, call him to task when those goings-on don't pass the smell test. He wants permanent immunity. The "explanation", that these employees can be removed at any time by the Council, suggests that a successful run at office might include a campaign promise to replace bureaucrats that work "at the will of the Council" with those who do the will of the Citizens of Dunwoody.