Could an ethics complaint be filed against the Mayor for appointing a secret study group

I guess the lawyers have looked over whether or not Mayor TenHaken is violating city charter by appointing a secret task force without the consent of the city council. One of the more memorable comments was, “While the mayor’s appointment of the task force doesn’t violate the law, I can’t speak on the ethics of the decision.”

Well, that’s fine, because it seems the city charter has the ‘ethical’ answer to that question;

34.007  CANON FIVE.

   (a)   A city council member should conduct the affairs of the city council in an open and public manner.
   (b)   City council members should be aware of the letter and intent of the state’s open meetings law, should conduct the affairs of the city council consistent with the letter and spirit of that law and consistent with the need to inspire and maintain public confidence in the integrity and fairness of city government and the office of city council member. Consistent with this goal of preserving public trust, city council members should be aware of the need for discretion in deliberations involving resources of the city, the reputation of people and the integrity of the governmental processes.
   (c)   All actions, decisions and votes by city council members should be made on their merits, objectively, and without party, regional or ideological partisanship.
(1992 Code , App. E)  (Ord. 34-00, passed 4-11-2000)
According to city charter, as the former mayor would point out all the time, the mayor is a member of the city council. I know this is a fine line, but purposely appointing a study group that will meet in secret could be a violation of the ethics code. Maybe a citizen needs to file and complaint against Paul and find out.


#1 "Very Stable Genius" on 02.07.19 at 5:24 pm

Our Mayor will probably use the ‘Cheney Axiom’ in an inverse manner, if a complaint is filed against him, that is.

When Cheney was VP, he claimed laws concerning the executive branch did not apply to him, because as President of the Senate, he was a member of the legislative branch and not the executive branch of government….. Although, he did sit in on Cabinet meetings, however.


#2 D@ily Spin on 02.08.19 at 9:55 am

There’s also the Huether trick. The mayor decides who serves for an ethics hearing. Of course he’ll pick from his posse and find in favor of himself.