This morning, the Ethics Committee met to consider applicants for two ostensibly open positions on the Committee, those appointed by the Committee itself. The applicants included two standing members of the committee, and 22 outside applicants, many of which I would consider very highly qualified and would add greatly to the Committee.
However, after interviewing the applicants, the two rounds of voting went as follows:
Round 1- Committee nominated their two standing members only. After one round of voting, the Chair was re-appointed to the Committee.
Round 2- Committee nominated the remaining standing member only. Obviously, she was re-appointed.
None of the 22 outside applicants were even considered for voting. The process left everyone in the room discouraged at best.
(I don't mean to imply, of course, that the existing members who were reappointed are not qualified or should not have been reappointed. However, the process is clearly flawed, that those members did not even have to compete with outside applicants for votes)
If we wonder why people are disinterested and frustrated with participating in local government, why voter turnout is low, and why there remains distrust- this morning's actions are the perfect example of why.
And yes, in case you are wondering, Committee members CAN vote for their own reappointment.
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