OnFocus – Starting in July of this year, the City of Marshfield began discussions about creating an Ethics Board. At Tuesday’s Common Council meeting, the Ordinance to establish the Ethics Board passed unanimously.
Proposed originally by Alderman Ed Wagner, the purpose of the Ethics Board is to “provide a means to manage administration of the City’s Codes of Conduct and Ethics, and resolve complaints alleging violation of those policies in a fair, equitable, and just manner for the City of Marshfield, thereby maintaining citizen confidence in the transparency, accountability, and integrity of the City in all its dealings.”
The board will consist of three members, two of which would be nominated by members of the Common Council and selected by secret ballot after nominated publicly by the Council. The third member would be a member of the bar, nominated by the County Bar Association. All members would be citizens of Marshfield, unless specifically exempted by Council.
After being reviewed by the City Attorney and further discussion in August, there were several changes made to the original draft, which can be found in the Common Council Agenda Packet here (Pages 114-120).
At the November 10 Common Council meeting, members addressed the importance of communicating the new Board to citizens and having a streamlined process for nomination to the Board.
“I’m fully supportive of this and I will vote for this, I just want there to be a little bit more of an application process,” said Alderman Rebecca Spiros, adding that she would like to see the City Communications department more involved in the public education process.
“I think we need to do our due diligence to explain what this actually entails,” added Alderman Adam Fischer. “I feel very strongly that we need to communicate well what this will entail, what people are signing up for, what we will be investigating, so there is no confusion.”
The Council added verbiage to the Ordinance, stipulating that any citizens that are interested in joining the Board will need to provide a letter and resume to the City Clerk that will then be presented to the Common Council for consideration.
More information about how to join the Ethics Board will be made available to the public at a later date. Read the Ordinance (before amendment) here (Pages 114-120).
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