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Ethics Deformed

The Ethics Ad-hoc Committee


  Undoubtedly the Ad-hoc Committee formed by Metro Council President David Tandy (Dem.-4th Dist.), is of vital importance to the Ethics Ordinance’s future. It is this committee that will attempt to bring about a bipartisan answer to the competitive proposals. Within this group is a diverse set of background and insight. There is not any substantial information coming out of the committee meetings, but analyzing the data available could assist us in understanding the complexities with the system.

  Following is a very brief analysis of each individual and an analytical opinion on what each council member could be focusing attention on as it relates to the proposal.




Cheri Bryant Hamilton (5th Dist)– Though Ms. Hamilton has recently made some statements that would show that she would support a more definite and complete Ethics bill similar to the one sponsored by Ken Fleming (Rep. 7th Dist.), Ms. Hamilton has had some votes that would conflict with that notion. For example, she was one of nine Democrats that voted against an amendment to enforced a time of sixty days for the mayor to submit details about a proposal either directing the proceeds of bonds or forgiving a loan over $150,000. Though she voted against the amendment, she did vote for the ordinance.


Rick Blackwell (12th)– Mr. Blackwell has been very consistent with his voting record and his statements. Though he has not come out and stated, there is a high probability that he will agree with the current mayor’s administrative efforts to fight against the original proposal. Mr. Blackwell has a very strict record of standing directly beside the mayor in matters such as this, and he is noted to have a strong working relationship with services like MSD, which could be effected by this ordinance. Of equal important note is his strong relationship with his neighbor down Dixie Highway, 14th District Democrat Bob Henderson, who is a strong supporter of the Butler proposal. Mr. Blackwell is a former Council president.


Marianne Butler (15th)- Ms. Butler is the sponsor of the proposal that is a direct competitor to the Fleming proposal. Ms. Butler hastily introduced this bill in early 2009.


Dan Johnson (21st)- Though Mr. Johnson has supported various groups that would be affected by this ordinance, he has been noted to be frustrated with various aspects of the current administration. The recent brouhaha that Mr. Johnson has posed on Mayor Jerry Abramson is not the first time that he has taken issue with the mayor. Mr. Johnson is a long term politician, and knows how to work with others.


Brent Ackerson (26th)- Mr. Ackerson is an attorney, and like Ms.Butler, is fairly new to the council. Though he does not have a notable voting record or statements in the council, he has sponsored a bill that is currently preparing to go before the council. It is not known precisely what he will be focusing on, but he is one of three attorneys on the committee. This could provide an interesting discussion relating to the various legalities and interpretation of law between the opposing sides.




Ken Fleming (7th)- Mr. Fleming is the sponsor of the original bill and has been consistent in his statements and voting support regarding ethics. He will continue to strive for ethical reform.


Kevin Kramer (11th)- Mr. Kramer is a former Council president, and though he has not filled that role for some time, he is still a leader in his caucus. Mr. Kramer will undoubtedly continue to push for conservative ethical practices in government.


Kelly Downard (16th)- Mr. Downard has had various ordinances that he has sponsored that has had great support from the Democrats in previous years. As a sponsor of the dog ordinance, Mr. Downard received support from many in the Majority Caucus. A former Council President, Mr. Downard has been known to work well with the majority caucus, but recently he has been primarily with other conservatives in recent. Though Mr. Downard may be striving for a very strong ethical ordinance that is conservative in nature, he is more apt to be lenient in certain aspects with the majority caucus.


Stuart Benson (20th)- Mr. Benson is known by many Democrats as being a “good, Christian man”. He has been known to be very cooperative, but he has a very strong ethic. He is going to lean more toward the original proposal and will not desire many changes, if any at all.


James Peden (23rd)- Mr. Peden may work as Mr. Downard does, but his ability is to persuade by patience and perseverance. Though that may work in some areas, at some point, the council must address this issue. Mr. Peden is conservative. He may desire to compromise on some issues, but he will be very bold with his beliefs.

May 12, 2009 - Posted by | Proposed Ordinances, Series Issue | , , , , , , , , , ,

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