Please Vote Tomorrow!

11.2.2015

Please Vote Tomorrow!

If you live in DeKalb County, please be sure to vote Yes on the ethics referendum. Ethics reform was one of three DeKalb County reform bills that I sponsored. All three passed during the 2015 session, but the Ethics bill must also be approved by the public. This is a summary of what you are voting for:

The Code of Ethics has been entirely rewritten, and is now consistent with national guidelines for local legislation.

The 7-member board of ethics will be completely independent and not subject to the control of any other officials, departments or agencies of county government. The seven members of the board will serve staggered 3-year terms and will be appointed by independent organizations, including the DeKalb County Bar Association, Chamber of Commerce, legislative delegation, probate court judge, chief judge of the superior court, a committee of the six major colleges and universities in DeKalb, and Leadership DeKalb. There are term limits on the appointments, and the members must be residents of DeKalb County and meet certain standards for service on the board that will ensure that there are no conflicts of interest.
The list of persons subject to the jurisdiction of the code of ethics has been greatly expanded to cover not only commissioners and the CEO, but also all appointed officials, employees and contractors with the county, whether paid or unpaid.
Prohibited conduct now also includes engaging in or rendering services for any agency, business or professional activity that is adverse to or incompatible with the discharge of official duties, effectively barring county elected and appointed officials, employees and contractors from providing the questionable consulting services that have recently come to light.
A staff position of ethics officer has been created, and the officer shall be appointed by a majority of the ethics board, and confirmed by the BOC and CEO, to a term not to exceed six years. Among other duties, the ethics officer will be responsible for educating all county officials, employees and appointees on ethical conduct; monitoring a "hot line;" informing the board of all complaints and alleged violations of the ethics code; reporting suspected ethical violations to the board, and suspected criminal violations to law enforcement agencies; obtaining disclosure reports and making them available to the public; and filing an annual report with the Board of Ethics, CEO, BOC and the public.
Complaints will be handled much more efficiently, with subject matter jurisdiction determined within 30 days, and hearings scheduled promptly once it is found that the board has jurisdiction to review the matter.
Penalties for violations of the code of ethics will include a public reprimand; a fine not to exceed $1000.00; referral for prosecution by the Solicitor in state court and, upon conviction, a fine of up to $1000.00 per violation and up to six months imprisonment; in the case of a contractor, recommendation to the BOC and CEO that the contract be suspended, the contractor be disqualified from performing the contract, and/or debarment from contracting or subcontracting with DeKalb County in the future.


If you live in the city of Doraville, Brookhaven, or Chamblee, you have City Council elections, and in Doraville and Brookhaven you will also be voting for Mayor.



The road to Tuesday's election on cityhood has been long and difficult. And regardless of the outcome of the vote, much more work lies ahead. Throughout this process, I have sought to provide my constituents with accurate information about the process.

I supported the referendums for LaVista Hills and Tucker because I knew that there were many people in my district who wanted to vote on incorporation. After the legislation authorizing the referendums passed, I hosted town halls with both supporters and opponents of cityhood so the community could hear both viewpoints and then decide.

Now, it is time to decide. I encourage you to vote in this important election.
Copyright (C) 2013 Friends of Scott Holcomb All rights reserved.



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