Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Time for KCMO Ethics Legislation?

Mayor Mark Funkhouser recently spent some uncomfortable time in the spotlight because of his decision to accept the use of a Hybrid Honda from a local dealership. After more than a week of media frenzy, he decided to decline the offer.

One of the things that struck me in the debate was the fact that it all took place in an ethical free-fire zone. The Star resorted to out-of-town "ethics experts" to opine that this was a bad thing, while supporters of the mayor pointed out that all mayors in recent memory have accepted gifts without criticism. Neither side could point to an on-point law, ordinance, or provision of an ethics code that addressed whether it's okay for the Mayor to accept Chiefs tickets but not something to park in the lot. The current Kansas City Municipal Ethics Code merely requires disclosure of such gifts within 30 days.

The Jackson County Ethics Commission is hard at work drafting an Ethics Code to guide County officials - perhaps it's time for Kansas City to take a fresh look at its own code. An attempt at putting some meat onto the bare-bones version we currently have could go a long way toward avoiding similar problems in the future. Perhaps they could even piggy-back on the work done by the Jackson County Ethics Commission . . .


Stephen Bough said...

I think that KCMO needs not only clear ethics rules, but that the Funk needs to set aside his arrogance and listen to others. Before you accept a bribe - oops, free car - talk to someone. Before you ignore the City Council and appoint a person who supports the armed militia, talk to someone.

The Funk was elected to a weak mayor position - with 12 wise city councilpeople - with a mandate from 50.0001% of the voters. Let's do something positive, together, including ethics legislation.

Dan Ryan said...

Bribe? I hadn't heard about a bribe, and what I heard about a free car didn't amount to a bribe at all. Steve, you must know a whole lot more than what has been published, if you're willing to use the bribe word to describe the transaction.

Or maybe you're just throwing around loaded words without thinking about them. If that's the case, it's an odd way to lead into a proposal to do something positive together . . .

Anonymous said...

The following URL is a link to the Mayor's Christmas letter, written by his wife (Gloria Squitiro), in which she describes Mayor Funkhouser prostate exam and a little about their sex life afterwards. Do we need more reason to or to dump the funk?? Kansas City is really in a FUNK!

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