The Henry Community Coalition, Inc. (HCC) is seeking citizen volunteers to participate in an ethics committee in order to present a proposal for ethics reform to newly elected members of the Henry County Board of Commissioners when they take office.
HCC President Michael Eddy sent out the following email today:
Many of you were unable to attend our meeting last week held in District 5 at the Fairview Elementary School. The meeting was very informative regarding our plans in requesting the new BOC to update the Henry County Code of Ethics. Here is a summary of the meeting:
Mr. William Perry, Executive Director of Common Cause Georgia spoke of their efforts in bringing ethics reform to the State of Georgia. The progress has been slow but he anticipates 12 to 20 legislators will file ethics bills in 2013.
He suggested that we at HCC present one issue before the public in our attempts to get a meaningful ethics code for Henry County. He said that it is helpful to have an easily understood marquee item. Also, he stated that it is important to communicate with the Commissioners and be sure to thank those who provide support.
Mr. Perry announced that the Common Cause Georgia wants to create a Citizen Ethics Ambassadors program that will work with communities on ethics by January 2013. He hoped that HCC will participate in it.
I recommend that this time around we focus in on the creation of an independent Henry County Ethics Board and that we join with Common Cause Georgia in strengthening the ethics laws in the State of Georgia.
As President, I will be creating a new Ethics Committee for the main purpose of presenting a new ethics proposal to the incoming Board of Commissioners in the early part of 2013. The new Commissioners are supporting changes in the ethics code. If you would like to participate on the Committee, please reply to this email.
If you’re unable to participate on the Committee, please continue to support HCC’s efforts in making our State, County, and Cities a better place to live.
I can tell you first hand that the current ethics rules that pertain to Henry County Commissioners is a joke, which is why I’ve never bothered filing one on any the discoveries I’ve made here at Proof of Right. In a nutshell, the County Attorney who, by the way represents the Board of Commissioners as her sole client, forwards the complaint to some unknown, unnamed, mysterious “hearing officer” who then gets to decide which complaints have merit to be investigated and which don’t. Like I said, it’s a joke. A toothless joke.
Upon receipt of a complaint in proper form and no later than thirty (30) days thereof, the county attorney shall forward the same to a duly qualified hearing officer for review. The hearing officer shall be authorized to preliminarily determine whether the complaint is facially invalid or unjustified, frivolous, patently unfounded or fails to state facts sufficient to state a violation of this section.
Regardless if your interested in participating in HCC, I would suggest becoming familiar with the ethics proposal they previously drafted. This way you can communicate with your District Commissioner about it. These links are the proposal submitted in 2010 which was summarily opposed and shot down by BJ Mathis and Randy Stamey. Of course, now we know why, right?
The mission of HCC, Inc. is to preserve, protect, and promote a diverse and sustainable community by participating in governmental processes, communicating with our elected officials, and supporting open government. For more information visit their website at http://henrycommunitycoalition.org/ and be sure to “like” their Facebook page here.
Interested persons can email HCC at email@example.com to find out more about how to participate.