As Ethics Code Hangs in Balance, Deerfield Beach Activists Arm for Battle | The Daily Pulp | South Florida | Broward Palm Beach New Times | The Leading Independent News Source in Broward-Palm Beach, Florida

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As Ethics Code Hangs in Balance, Deerfield Beach Activists Arm for Battle

The statement below arrives courtesy Deerfield Beach blogger Bett Willett, a co-president of the Original Save Our Beach Committee, which has closed ranks to oppose the city commissioners' apparent back-sliding on ethics reform. Willett asks other supporters to attend tonight's meeting with paper plates that say "Ethics YES."

Although, let's hope it doesn't confuse commissioners who, if they support ethics should actually vote "No" on the ordinance that would repeal the ethics code. At any rate, here's the committee's statement:

Politics has always been a dirty business in which corruption flourishes unless idealistic people fight. Dishonesty prospers and can triumph in a political environment which lacks disclosure and transparency. Disreputable politicians and special interests always want a lack of transparency and disclosure, because they do not want the public to know what is really going on.

Our current Ethics Code improves the likelihood of honest government for the people of Deerfield Beach, by setting forth standards of behavior expected of our Commissioners and those doing business with our City.

Our Ethics Code helps protect Deerfield Beach residents against the undue influence of money and power by ensuring government is done in the open, and makes certain there is disclosure and strict standards against conflict of interest.

No honest person who cares for our City would vote to repeal our Ethics Code. If there is a provision in our Ethics Code that a Commissioner disagrees with, then the commission should discuss that specific provision and if in agreement modify it; but do not throw out the entire Ethics Code.

Comments appearing in the Sun Sentinel where the Mayor falsely claims that this Ethics Code restricts her ability to represent our city is a distortion of the contents of our Ethics Code, and does not stand up to scrutiny. There are no restrictions on the Mayor or Commissioners to properly represent our City, only reasonable requirements of transparency, disclosure, and limitations on Conflicts of Interest.

An honest Commissioner wants open government, disclosure and strict rules against Conflicts of Interest, while corrupt Commissioners want us kept in the dark, which is achieved by lack transparency and lack of disclosure.

A commissioner's vote to repeal the whole Ethics Code is a reflection upon each of them showing that they reject the standards of behavior in the code.

A vote to keep our Ethics Code shows a belief that the standard of behavior contained our Code are standards by which you believe a Commissioner and those doing business with our City should conduct themselves.
A final word about yesterday's post about Commissioner Joe Miller being the swing vote. Commenters were skeptical about whether he was even considering voting to keep the ethics code. I realize that it's a long shot. And maybe it's foolhardy to have faith in an elected official's conscience -- especially in Deerfield Beach. But I'm not convinced that Miller is entirely under Noland's sway.

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Thomas Francis

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