Thursday, December 31, 2009

Ethics Training for all Elected Officials in N.C. HB#1452 Starts January 1, 2010 , Locally Ethics Training Needs To Happen ASAP

S.L. 2009-403

House Bill #1452 which was signed into law in late summer says the following

AN ACT to require all cities, counties, local boards of education, unified governments, Sanitary districts, and consolidated city‑counties to adopt a code of ethics for the governing board and to require the members of those governing boards to receive education on ethics laws applicable to local government officials.

As we have seen lately where local politicians are texting their "circle of friends" while sitting on the city council, or with the same "circle of friends" wanting to take a local mayor and chairman of county commission on a plane ride to D.C.

Plus, we have the same "circle of friends" illegally giving money to a local political action committee. It is time for all the local Guilford County elected officials to take some basic ethics classes required by the state under this bill.

Here is what is said in the law,

All members of governing boards of cities, counties, local boards of education, unified governments, sanitary districts, and consolidated city‑counties shall receive a minimum of two clock hours of ethics education within 12 months after initial election or appointment to the office and again within 12 months after each subsequent election or appointment to the office.

The ethics education shall cover laws and principles that govern conflicts of interest and ethical standards of conduct at the local government level.

The need to conduct the affairs of the governing board in an open and public manner, including complying with all applicable laws governing open meetings and public records.

This act by the state is a step in the right direction. It comes at a time where there is a lot of corruption on the state level and the local level needs to understand the ins and outs of ethics training. Just because you have been in office for a long time doesn't mean that you understand the process. Can anyone say Jim Black or Mike Easley without talking unethical acts by state politicians.

As stated in this bill,

this act becomes effective January 1, 2010. All members of governing boards covered by this act shall receive their initial training to comply with G.S. 160A‑84 within 12 months after that date.

Let's see how long it takes all the governing boards to comply with this law. Will they wait till December of 2010 to take the class or will they do it ASAP. Who might come out of this class and have a new meaning of ethics on a local level or will it be business as usual with our "PAY TO PLAY" attitude that permeates Guilford County politicians.Bookmark and Share

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