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Letter: Proposed ethics measure not enough

Published: Friday, April 26, 2013 11:31 a.m. CST

To the Editor: It was recently reported that a proposal for a city ordinance restricting or limiting the mayor, who also serves as the liquor commissioner for the City of Elmhurst, from receiving campaign contributions from liquor license holders and applicants was being referred to committee.

While a good first step, this ethics proposal does not go far enough.

A search of the City of Elmhurst's website for "ethics" reveals a single hit. Chapter 15 of Municipal Code states that the City of Elmhurst has incorporated by reference the State of Illinois Officials and State Employee Ethics Act, specifically, Article 10, commonly known as the Gift Ban (which requires a ban or limitation on gifts received by elected officials and public employees) and Articles 1 and 5, commonly referred to as Prohibited Political Activity (which prohibits political activity in the public workplace).

In 2004, Illinois mandated all units of local government adopt a code of ethical conduct that at least included these two provisions. Many municipalities adopted ordinances going beyond what the state required — not Elmhurst. The citizens of Elmhurst deserve more.

I see this proposal as a great opportunity for the City Council to consider adopting a more comprehensive code of ethical conduct for all city officials, employees and those who do business with the city or who are seeking to do business with the city.

The City of Elmhurst, where "Character Counts," should be a model of ethical government and take the lead in promoting and extending ethics and integrity in city government by expanding its code of ethical conduct.

MaryNic Foster Elmhurst

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