Action Alert – Prevent the Weakening of the Inspector General’s Office
The representatives of the municipalities on the Inspector General (IG) Drafting Committee are balking at the oversight role of the IG. The municipalities are saying that we, the voters, didn’t understand what we were voting for and that we simply didn’t want ‘pay to play’ activities by our elected officials. They are attempting to weaken the scope of the IG, saying that the IG should not be able to review and report on mismanagement or inefficiencies or to second guess the municipalities’ decisions in any way – when it is precisely those types of decisions that can ‘waste’ the tax-payers dollars.
1 – Attend the Wednesday, February 9th meeting at 2pm at the Vista Center, Vista Center Hearing Room, 2300 N. Jog Rd (just northeast of Okeechobee Rd) – listen to the discussion politely, and when there’s time for public comment, please state that: you as a voter knew what you were voting for and that you believe that the ‘independent oversight of local government operations” is key to the IG’s role.
It is important that we have a large turnout at this meeting. Please make every effort to attend in person.
2 – Send emails to the drafting committee members stating that you support the scope of the IG as described in the original ordinance to “detect misconduct involving abuse, corruption, fraud, waste, inefficiencies and mismanagement” and that the same scope must now apply to the municipalities. The email addresses are:
REPRESENTING THE COUNTY:
|David Aronberg – Committee Vice Chairfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Donna Raney – County Attorney’s office||DRaney@pbcgov.org|
REPRESENTING LEAGUE OF CITIES
|Kurt Bressner – Committee Chair||BressnerK@bbfl.us|
|Trela White – League of Cities Attorneyemail@example.com|
REPRESENTING OFFICE OF THE INSPECTOR GENERAL
|Sheryl Steckler – Inspector General||SSteckler@pbcgov.org|
3 – “like” the Vote Yes on Ethics facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Vote-YES-on-Ethics/104294449637067) so that you can see future action alerts or go to http://ethicspbc.com
4 – Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with “I want independent oversight of local government” in the subject line.
In 2009 many of you worked very hard to see that an independent Inspector General was put in place for Palm Beach County, as well as Ethics Ordinances.. You stood up at County Commission meetings, you signed petitions, and you saw the Inspector General’s office get implemented. Then in November 2010 the people voted. An overwhelming 72% of voters wanted these ordinances and for the Inspector General’s scope to apply to all of the municipalities in the county.
The Charter Amendment called for a drafting committee consisting of representatives from both the League of Cities and the County, in equal representation plus the Inspector General for the IG Drafting Committee, and the Executive Director of the Ethics Commission for the Ethics Drafting Committee. The role of the IG committee is to write a new ordinance, using the original as a basis to incorporate the municipalities.
The Charter Amendment (http://www.pbcgov.com/countycommissioners/pdf/charter.pdf), in Section 8.3, defined the role of the Inspector General:
“The county shall, by ordinance, establish an Office of the Inspector General to provide independent oversight of publicly funded transactions, projects, and other local government operations”
The original IG ordinance (2009.049 – Sec. 2.422), stated that the office of the Inspector General was to “detect misconduct involving abuse, corruption, fraud, waste, inefficiencies, and mismanagement by elected and appointed county officials and employees, county agencies and instrumentalities, contractors, and other parties doing business with the county and/or receiving county funds.”
The IG ordinance drafting committee has spent 3 meetings now debating the wording of the Inspector General’s scope. The next meeting is to be held on February 9, 2011 at 2pm.