Thursday, May 23, 2013

City Staff Not Being Cooperative

Odie Arambula, in this week's "Monday Wash" column, wrote about the city's ethics commission getting together to discuss matters.
At least I think he was the only one who mentioned the event.  I can't really be sure since I haven't been keeping up with every tidbit of information around here.  Nevertheless....

The present states of affairs in the land, from any city-county to the White House, have the neighbors on edge.
Unfortunately, neighbors across town have their radars at different levels of local governance awareness for the public body to feel the pinch.
Yet, we just might start hearing awakening sounds on the west side of Flores Avenue when the City Ethics Commission starts working.
The online city page should show a posting of the first Ethics Commission meeting for Tuesday, May 21.

In my in box today I find out why I haven't heard much of any gathering of the ethics commission:  BECAUSE IT DIDN'T HAPPEN!!!  Apparently there are forces working against the commission.  Check it out.

Ethics: the principles of morality, including both the science of the good and the nature of the right.

The reason for ethics in a civilized society, is to insure that there are certain rules of conduct that must apply to everyone equally in order that civility, honesty, trust, and  prosperity  can be shared by all regardless of affiliation or beliefs. This applies more importantly to the people that have sworn an oath to represent their constituents and the city of Laredo in an honest and forthright manner and to support and uphold all laws, rules and regulations as outlined by our city charter.

The citizens of Laredo VOTED and approved the creation of an ethics committee in order to make sure that the governance of the people we elected could be held accountable for any malfeasance or decisions made that are in direct disregard for the wishes of the populous and more specifically our City Charter!

Regretfully however, the stonewalling still continues. There have been 3 attempts to convene the committee to hear issues related to ethical behavior but have all been rebuked by the City Attorney and/or The City Manager, citing that these meetings were not posted and had not been vetted by either one of them first. In addition they are also allowed to edit the complaint before presenting it to the committee. The committee’s last attempt to convene was on May 21st which was called by Mike Garza to clarify an ethics issue related to conflict of interest. The committee was informed by the City Attorney that the meeting was disallowed and that instead the committee should consider attending an ethics workshop in Austin in order to better educate themselves on issues dealing with ethics and that the city would gladly pay for their meals and lodging while there.
First and foremost what the City Attorney and City Manager don’t seem to understand is that they are perceived as part of the problem and not the solution. They have repeatedly offered nothing but impediments to the notion of an ethics committee and for them to sit in judgment of what can or cannot proceed beyond their domain is in and of itself a terrible violation of ethical behavior and a slap in the face to the people that worked tirelessly to formulate this Code of Ethics and to the people that voted for it.

In its present form you can expect that many valid issues regarding ethics and ethical behavior will never see the light of day, thanks to the demonstrated immoral and seemingly uncaring attitude of the City Attorney and City Manager and all the puppets whose strings they control.
Humberto Trevino Jr.

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