Want ethical government?

By: Diane Benjamin

The citizens of Clark County Washington had to pass a charter amendment to get an ethics commission:

The ethics commission is the result of the charter amendment approved by voters in November that requires the council to adopt an ordinance establishing a code of ethics and penalties for violations of the code by July 31. The code would apply to all county departments, elected or appointed officials and entities receiving funds through the county budget.

Along with the ethics commission, the amendment also requires the creation of an ethics oversight office operated by the county manager and a complaint hotline.


Expecting government employees to accuse other government employees of ethics violations doesn’t work, see the Town of Normal. City Manager Pam Reece as ethics officer is a failure.

An ethics commission must be impartial. I can see the day voters demand it and Reece or Koos get to appoint the members. Illinois rates high in corruption, #2 in this article: https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2021/08/11/six-most-corrupt-states/

Nothing is going to change until laws apply to government, not just citizens.







7 thoughts on “Want ethical government?

  1. Despite Pam’s claim that she takes ethics seriously, Normal’s administration is not bound to follow any ethics. Normal relies only on the attorney’s opinion if some action is legal. There is no higher bar of ethics that matter in the decisions of town administrators. I too was disappointed when I learned this.

    Voters should note that Trustees and the mayor campaigned on pro-ethics and integrity, but no one has supported any efforts to have Town Staff actually respect any ethics beyond what is legal. In fact most have ignored the small bit of ethics in the purchasing policy that stating it is a conflict of interest for town staff who are also directors and officers of companies the town is purchasing from to also be involved in the purchase decision process.

    I laugh when trustees run for higher office and claim they will fight corruption and lack of ethics at the state level when they have a record of refusing to address problems in Normal or when they argued against ethics because they did not want “professional staff” encumbered from purchasing from who they want because of ethical barriers.

    Below is justification of my claim that Normal has NO ETHICS as provided by the town’s attorney.

    “There seems to be a misconception that, for government administration, there is a distinction between legal and ethical conflicts of interest. There is not. The question is whether an action is legally allowed. There is not a separate set of “ethics” rules that would prohibit an action that is otherwise legally allowed.” – Town of Normal Attorney, 1/7/22

    Stan Nord – Normal Trustee who has consistently advocated for ethics in Normal

    Other Trustees who read this. Make me a liar by passing a comprehensive ethics policy that exceeds what is legal.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Why don’t YOU prove to the citizens of Normal (that you say you represent over and over and over), that you can think for yourself and not grab every one of your talking points from this blog? Have you had one idea you came up with on your own?
      Your schtick is getting old. Stop the gaslighting, and stop being a puppet.
      Stan Nord – Normal Trustee who can’t think for himself.


      1. Oh my, oh my, that was indeed pure leftist parrot-speak at it’s finest. I even read it with the same cadence nearly all of you use when you bleat out your memorized cliches.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Just watched a special on 60 minutes reporting on the demise of newspapers in our country. How a hedge fund Alden Global Capitol was buying out newspapers all over the country and then gutting the newspapers net loss of reporters available to keep those citizens living in the areas affected aware of what was happening in their communities. Along with this you no longer have enough mix of those reporting to provide accurate news and hold certain people in power to an ethical standard. Thank you Diane for what you do you don’t have to answer to an Alden Global capitol and you are not afraid to report the truth and hold our local officials accountable for doing their jobs ethically.
    Also, thank you Stan Nord only a person with low intellect could find a problem with what you report.

    Liked by 1 person

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