Ann Arbor Council OKs Ethics Education

An educational effort for local officials on conflict-of-interest and ethics issues has been given unanimous approval by the Ann Arbor city council. Action on the topic came at the council’s Nov. 18, 2013 meeting.

The resolution directs an educational effort on Public Act 317 of 1968, which is the state’s conflict-of-interest statute.

A final “resolved” clause directs the council’s rules committee to draft standards of conduct for local officials based on Public Act 196 of 1973, which applies to state employees of the executive branch and appointees of the governor. The final resolved clause – if the council adopts a standard that’s recommended by the council rules committee and it’s strictly followed – would end any unauthorized leaks of information from the city government.

The item had been postponed from Nov. 7, when its sponsor, Sally Petersen (Ward 2), moved immediately to postpone consideration of the resolution, due to the very heavy agenda that night.

The resolution was modified during the Nov. 18 meeting  at the suggestion of Chuck Warpehoski (Ward 5) so that the rules committee could draw upon not just PA 196 of 1973 but other sources as well to craft standards for councilmember behavior. [.pdf of Warpehoski's ethics amendments]

The vote was taken following input during public commentary from representatives of A2 Ethics and the local League of Women Voters, who supported the resolution.

This brief was filed from the city council’s chambers on the second floor of city hall, located at 301 E. Huron. A more detailed report will follow: [link]