If you missed the Dunwoody City Council's marathon meeting last night, you missed a doozy! Councilwoman Adrian Bonser appears to be in re-election mode tossing out accusations of unethical behavior against Mayor Davis and Councilman John Heneghan. The full video is below. Fast forward to the 23:50 mark, as that's where the meeting gets interesting.
City Councils's resident IED
Council is undertaking steps to re-write the Ethics Code, specifically focused on the process of perfecting a complaint, as well as the procedures the Board of Ethics will follow once a complaint has been perfected and accepted by the Board.
At stake is the active participation of Ethics Board members in direct questioning of a witnesses. It appears from comments that Councilman Thompson and Mayor Davis are leaning to having Board of Ethics members act as jurors only citing concern that a hearing process could be unduly extended by questioning from an overzealous board member. Only the attorneys involved and the Hearing Officer would be allowed to ask a question directly to a witness. As I stated in my last post - this is wrong as it subordinates our voices as citizens in this process.
I don't want our power abdicated because of the cluster fest that took place last year. The five citizens appointed to that Board never imagined that they would ever be called into service! And it appeared that several were not prepared for the task at hand, nor did they really want to be there! That issue is the result of the selection process, not the process itself.
So I say to the Mayor and Council - "it's not the tool, it's the carpenter"! Experience matters! Please give the process of nominating people to this thankless position careful review. Consider their professional and life experiences, as well as professional qualifications. And I disagree vehemently with Councilwoman Bonser's desire (around 1:05:20) to allow for elected officials to serve on the Board. Regardless of what office they hold, City, State, or Federal office, no elected official should be asked to serve on this board. That just reeks of conflict of interest and opens the door to conspiracy claims. Every effort needs to be made to eliminate even the slightest appearance that any action by the BOE could be politically motivated.
Let this be a lesson that no matter how painful the process may be, when you take the power out of the hands of the citizens you will end up with what we just viewed.
I'm Just Sayin'......pave more side walks and lets put governance back in the hands of grown ups!