Gordon stops by WDEL to detail sweeping ethics reform

"There's not going to be any opposition to a vote against ethics."



That's the way County Executive Tom Gordon feels about his new sweeping ethics reform plan.

He stopped by the WDEL studios to talk about it in-depth. He says the plan, triggered by the Barley Mill controversy, must carefully tackle and expose land use without hurting economic development.

"If you look at the last 8 years, I don't think it went where it should've went, and there was no concern for traffic, which is going to effect all of us, and when you make all of these exceptions, there's really nothing that's going to make rhyme or reason right now with redevelopment. They would either threaten you with housing or redevelopment to get their way, and we're going to get the citizens back involved," says Gordon.



The plan, which must get council approval, requires the disclosure of outside business interests and the disclosure of all private sources of income while calling for increased oversight and transparency with all contracts and salaries posted online.

"In land use, there's a whole lot of money that can be made by changing a zoning or giving somebody the benefit of moving ahead with a partial land, and the temptation's always there, and I don't think it hurts to expose those kinds of things," says Gordon.



The plan requires approval from County Council.
"There's not going to be any opposition to a vote against ethics."



That's the way County Executive Tom Gordon feels about his new sweeping ethics reform plan.

He stopped by the WDEL studios to talk about it in-depth. He says the plan, triggered by the Barley Mill controversy, must carefully tackle and expose land use without hurting economic development.

"If you look at the last 8 years, I don't think it went where it should've went, and there was no concern for traffic, which is going to effect all of us, and when you make all of these exceptions, there's really nothing that's going to make rhyme or reason right now iwth redevelopment. They would either threaten you with housing or redevelopment to get their way, and we're going to get the citizens back involved," says Gordon.



The plan, which must get council approval, requires the disclosure of outside business interests and the disclosure of all private sources of income while calling for increased oversight and transparency with all contracts and salaries posted online.

"In land use, there's a whole lot of money that can be made by changing a zoning or giving somebody the benefit of moving ahead with a partial land, and the temptation's always there, and I don't think it hurts to expose those kinds of things," says Gordon.



The plan requires approval from County Council.

And that approval could face some opposition if Councilman George Smiley is any indication.

Smiley has some problems with the reform package.

He tells WDEL his main complaint is that the proposal does not follow county procedure.

"Some of this stuff falls under the Ethics Committee's purview, some does not, some falls under Council's. Some requires state attention. So for this to be put out as an ethics package is disingenuous at best," says Smiley.



He says Gordon should have reached out to more Council members before introducing the package.

As for the the content of the legislation...

"I have no problem with it. My report shows what he's asking for here, my report shows it now. And my report is online," Smiley says.



Council president Chris Bullock, who ran on an ethics platform, supports the legislation.

He says the final product is subject to the usual round of council hearings.

"There will be some details we'll have to iron out on Council. But generally speaking it sends a strong signal to the citizens in the county that we're serious about open government and transparency," says Bullock.












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