I have always been committed to the highest standards of conduct by and among county officials in the performance of their public duties. That's why I have been a long time outspoken advocate for developing and implementing a strong Code of Ethics for all elected officials and government employees.
A Code of Ethics sets the standards for conduct and personal and professional behavior. It ensures and maintains the public's trust and confidence in government. I believe it also creates a more productive work environment as well.
A resolution creating the Broward County Ethics Commission was placed on the ballot by the Charter Review Commission and approved by voters in November 2008. The Ethics Commission must present a Code of Ethics to the Broward County Commission for consideration no later than March 2, 2010. If the Broward County Commission fails to adopt the Proposed Ethics Code within one hundred eighty days (180) days it will be placed on the November 2010 ballot for consideration by voters.
The Ethics Commission has been discussing a number of issues pertaining to the conduct of elected officials, rules governing lobbyists, gifts, outside employment, charitable fundraising, campaign contributions and fundraising, procurement procedures, and financial disclosures.
A Code of Ethics is really only useful if there is enforcement of those codes. I recently voted in favor of creating a Broward County Office of Inspector General to make sure that the rules are properly followed and that investigations will take place by an independent office. The Ethics Commission is also considering an Inspector General's Office as is the Broward County Legislative Delegation. The County Attorney's office is currently working on a charter amendment that would create this office as recommended by the County Commissioners.
A Code of Ethics and the Office of Inspector General will certainly make government more accountable and transparent and we all know how important that is! This has been a long time in coming and I promise to keep you updated as more information is made available to the Commission.
I was recently the featured speaker at the Grand Opening of the Hollywood Local Census Office located at 3350 North 28th Terrace in Hollywood. The turnout was great and it was an excellent way for the public to get an “insiders” look at census operations. Please be sure to fill out your census form when it arrives in the mail this month. It's easy, confidential and shouldn't take more than ten minutes of your time. Also, Census workers are currently only knocking on doors to verify address information. Do not give your Social Security number, credit card or banking information to anyone, even if they claim they need it for the U.S. Census. Census workers also carry an identification badge. Never invite anyone you do not know into your home.
You know my door is always open and I'm always interested in your thoughts and comments. You can reach me or my staff at (954) 357-7006 or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also, the holidays are upon us! We would like to wish you a Happy Passover and Happy Easter!