Here's today's press release announcing the Ogden Ethics Project:
CITIZENS ORGANIZE TO PROMOTE ETHICS IN OGDEN GOVERNMENT
A group of Ogden citizens has formed a new organization, the Ogden Ethics Project, to promote better ethics in city government.
The group intends to highlight ethics issues during the upcoming municipal election campaign, then push for adoption of better ethics policies. Although the Ogden Ethics Project intends to interact with candidates and educate the public about candidates’ views on ethical matters, it will make no endorsements.
The organizers of the Ogden Ethics Project have watched Ogden government closely in recent years, noting many instances of ethical lapses. The group’s web site, ogdenethics.org, points to examples that include secret business deals, misuse of grant funds, taxpayer-funded lobbying efforts, “double-dipping” by high-level employees, and inappropriate political fundraising.
To fight these kinds of abuses, the Ogden Ethics Project has proposed a platform of 24 specific policy initiatives. These range from increased disclosure on the city’s web site to tighter restrictions on conflicts of interest, competitive bidding, and campaign contributions. While some of these policies can be implemented administratively, others will require the city council to pass new legislation.
Much of the group’s inspiration has come from Utahns for Ethical Government, a state-wide organization that seeks to pass ethics legislation through the ballot initiative process. However, the Ogden Ethics Project is not affiliated with UEG and recognizes that different strategies will be needed to promote ethics at the local level.
The Ogden Ethics Project is coordinated by Dan Schroeder, an activist and blogger who has been involved in city government for 17 years. The Board of Advisors includes two former city council members and four other Ogden citizens with diverse professional backgrounds, all sharing a passion for better government in Ogden City.
All of these officers are serving as volunteers, and the group is not accepting financial contributions. However, the Ogden Ethics Project welcomes additional volunteer help and ideas. Those interested should visit ogdenethics.org.