At the June 26 Board of Trustees meeting, it was decided to postpone a vote for an ethics ordinance. No date has been set for a future vote.

At the June 26 Board of Trustees meeting, it was decided to postpone a vote for an ethics ordinance. No date has been set for a future vote.

Photo by Sarah Purlee


Macomb board postpones ordinance vote

No deadline set for future vote

By: Alex Szwarc | Macomb Township Chronicle | Published June 28, 2019

 Macomb Township Treasurer Karen Goodhue said the postponement of an ethics ordinance vote is in mutual agreement with the ethics advisory committee. Earlier in June, she presented a second ordinance option the board could vote on.

Macomb Township Treasurer Karen Goodhue said the postponement of an ethics ordinance vote is in mutual agreement with the ethics advisory committee. Earlier in June, she presented a second ordinance option the board could vote on.

Photo by Sarah Purlee

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MACOMB TOWNSHIP — Two options were on the table to vote on for a Macomb Township ethics ordinance: the Macomb Township ethical conduct ordinance, created by the ethics advisory committee, and the Michigan Township Association’s Code of Ethical Conduct.

The Macomb Township Board of Trustees decided to postpone the vote at its June 26 meeting. June 26 was the day the board decided on in May to vote on whether or not to adopt an ethics ordinance.

On June 12, Treasurer Karen Goodhue presented the second option — the Michigan Township Association’s Code of Ethical Conduct. Goodhue said the association’s code provides even more oversight  than the ordinance created by the six-member committee.

At the June 26 meeting, she said the postponement is in mutual agreement with the ethics advisory committee.

“We’re working on some finalizations of that ordinance,” Goodhue said.

She previously said the ethics advisory committee was to develop and research an ordinance and bring it back to the board for its decision.

Trustee Tim Bussineau expressed concerns on why the ordinance was not voted on June 26 and when a vote would occur.

“On May 8, we established tonight as the night we vote on an ethics ordinance,” he said. No answer was provided as to when it will be voted on.

Bussineau originally proposed the creation of an internal ethics policy that would govern elected officials back in December 2017. At that time, the board approved Bussineau to pursue and solicit a team to research and develop a possible ethics board and ethics ordinance.

A draft of the ordinance was presented to the board in September 2018.

At the May 8 board meeting, it was unanimously approved to set June 26 as the date of the vote. At that meeting, Bussineau said he’s been asked to vote on major items, sometimes right before a board meeting.

Macomb Township Ethics Advisory Committee Chairman Jim Gelios said he agrees to the postponement, given that both sides are currently discussing modifications to the ordinance.   

“While some may argue the timeline for all this, the fact is the wheel is moving forward,” he said.

The 15-page ethics ordinance created by the ethics committee includes the responsibilities of public office; prohibited conduct, such as conflict of interests and gifts; standards of conduct; and violation enforcement and advisory options.

Fellow ethics advisory committee member Tom Sokol said he is confident the ordinance will be complete in a timely manner.

Goodhue presented a 12-page code of ethical conduct. Items in that document include implementation; reporting improper actions of elected and appointed officials; and financial relationships.

If the ordinance is adopted, a three-member ethics board would be created, separate from the ethics committee, which consists of Gelios, Sokol, Rich Maierle, Richard Paul, Robert Montilla and Stephen Ferrari.

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