The New Ethics Ordinance The actual ethics part of the proposed ordinance is a solid interpretation of ethics language supported by the Illinois Attorney General and the Illinois Municipal League. There does not appear to be any trap doors or hidden problems here, albeit it is still missing the Ethics Committee or Commission.
With millions of dollars in infrastructure contracts each year coming in over the next few decades, DG will be targeted by companies seeking work, so it’s important temptation is removed as much as possible. Sandack kept a campaign promise; he said he’d bring to council ordinance language limiting perpetual campaign war chests for local elections.
Sandack was amenable to every change anyone wanted to make. Tully and Waldack wanted part two split out. That has to do with when it’s OK to open and close campaign accounts. They voted against that section, which still passed 5-2. Waldack kept his account open and has some debt still on the books. Tully closed his account in June of this year, about a month before everyone who ran this time, and took a hit on his own campaign loans.
This whole process was a good example of transparancy in local government. Proposals were put forward as promised, and the village ends up ahead with a stronger, more comprehensive listing of do’s and don’ts. There’s no good guys/bad guys here, but it makes for interesting meetings.
We still need an Ethics Commission. The Village Attorney is the Ethics Officer, but the new ordinance allows for an outside person to be appointed and paid for that position. While the majority of the Ethics Ordinance is very similar to language proposed by the Illinois Attorney General’s Office and the Illinois Municipal League, the appointed outside Ethics Officer is not.