Board or Committee Meeting
Wednesday, September 21, 2022 - 6:00pm to 7:00pm
[email protected] is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.
Topic: Ethics Meeting--Changes in Ethics Laws
Time: Sep 21, 2022 06:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
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Meeting ID: 882 5901 9487
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Meeting ID: 882 5901 9487
Find your local number: https://cityoflaurel-org.zoom.us/u/kbbyRR0iLg
Laurel Ethics Commission
Virtual Meeting by Zoom
Wednesday, September 21, 2022
If you wish to provide written testimony on any agenda item, you may send by mail to the Laurel Municipal Center or email to Laura Christoplos at [email protected].
- Call to Order
- Roll Call
- Approval of September 21, 2022, Meeting Agenda
- Approval of Minutes of the meeting of June 29, 2022
- General Public Hearing
- Changes to Ethics Laws
- Other Business
Wednesday, July 29, 2022
Virtual Meeting via Zoom
The Ethics Commission Meeting was called to order at 6:04 p.m. by Chairman James Hester. Roll was called with the following Commissioners present: Chairman Hester, Vice Chair Bardwell, Commissioner Drake, and Alternate Crook. Also present were Dennis Whitley, Ethics Commission Legal Counsel, Christian Pulley, City Administrator, and Laura Christoplos, Administrative Assistant II.
Vice Chair Bardwell made a motion to approve the minutes from the April 26, 2022, meeting. Commissioner Drake seconded the motion, and the minutes were approved as written.
The General Public Hearing was opened at 6:07 p.m. As there were no members of the public present, it was closed at 6:08 p.m.
Commissioner Drake committed to reviewing the three Financial Disclosure Statements (FDS) that came in after she finished her review. The status of the FDS is in the attached report.
The Commissioners decided to make a change in reviewing next year’s form. If the notification question on page 1 is not filled out, no notification will be the default.
There was a discussion of what defines a “bona fide” resident. A Real ID or bill with the person’s address may be used as proof of residency.
Recommendations to the Mayor are on the attached report. Alternate Crook made a motion, that was seconded by Vice Chair Bardwell, to have staff draft a letter to the Mayor with this information at their earliest convenience. Staff will keep the Commission apprised of progress.
The questions about Social Media Policy seem to be more about events and sponsorship, than with the social media aspect. There are problems with actual or perceived implications of City support of positions, candidates, or businesses.
Council members have a right to do things for constituents, but when the City Seal is used by a Council member and it appears to be sponsored by the City, it should be vetted by the City. The Ethics Commission agreed that the City Seal should not be used if it is not a City event.
The City could consider having a City-wide program of sponsored events rather than ones sponsored by individual Council members.
If an event requires City resources, should it require City approval? If the City is going to vet events, parameters need to be determined, including things that are a hard “No.” Perhaps a form should be generated.
Administrator Pulley asked that Chair Hester and Counsel Whitley write a memo to the Mayor with their recommendations for these events.
Chair Hester requested that Counsel Whitley look at how other jurisdictions are handling this, then draft a memo to the Mayor on the Commission’s behalf.
Staff requested that Commissioners write their comments about the examples and send it to her to compile by the end of next week.
The next meeting date will be set once the Commissioners’ recommendations are submitted and collated.
The meeting was adjourned at 7:55 p.m.