Here is a preliminary list of our suggestions for ethics reform in Ogden City government. We look forward to working with elected officials and other stakeholders to refine and implement these suggestions.
Prohibit or disclose conflicts of interest
- Prohibit public officials from accepting most gifts.
- Prohibit public officials from using their office to solicit business or contributions for private organizations.
- Require elected officials and appropriate employees to disclose all ownership of, or financial interest in, real property in Weber County, as well as any financial interest in companies doing business in Weber County.
- Establish a process whereby the city council can investigate allegations of conflict of interest involving the mayor.
- Post all conflict of interest disclosure statements on the city’s web site.
- Prohibit city attorneys from handling criminal accusations against any elected official; require instead that such matters be given to an independent outside attorney.
- Strengthen conflict-of-interest and confidentiality requirements when city attorneys are involved in creating new legislation.
- Prohibit salaried city employees from moonlighting.
Treat everyone fairly
- Require competitive bidding for real estate sales, concession/management agreements, and major equipment purchases.
Allow waivers of competitive bidding only in advance.Done! The city council passed an ordinance banning retroactive waivers on August 23, 2011.
- Hold public officials accountable when they violate competitive bidding requirements or spend funds without budget authorization.
- Promptly post all requests for proposals, real estate advertisements, and major contracts on the city’s web site.
- Prohibit the use of taxpayer-funded communications for legislative lobbying, including promotion of new projects that would require legislative action.
- Increase city council oversight of personnel policies.
Clean up political campaigns
- Prohibit corporate contributions to candidates. Require business owners to contribute in their own names, not company names.
- Reduce the individual contribution limit from $5000 to $3000 for mayoral candidates.
- Close the loopholes that apparently allow laundering of contributions through third parties or political action committees to conceal their source or avoid contribution limits.
- Require disclosure of independent political expenditures over $500, and prohibit independent expenditures from being coordinated with candidates’ campaigns.
- Require large contributors to disclose the names of their employers.
- Explicitly prohibit the use of city facilities, communication channels, and other resources, directly or indirectly, to benefit political candidates, political action committees, and unregistered organizations.
Be open and transparent
- Promptly and routinely post all agendas, agenda packets, meeting minutes, contracts, consultants’ reports, and records of grants and major expenditures on the city’s web site. Keep these items on the web site for at least five years, or indefinitely if possible.
- Make all documents on the city’s web site accessible to major search engines.
- Provide public records, when requested, in electronic formats that are convenient for the public to use and reproduce.
- Broaden the representation on the city’s Records Review Board to include citizen and media advocates—not just government insiders.
- Allow denied GRAMA requests to be appealed to the State Records Committee.
- Require that contractors running public programs, or managing public facilities, adhere to the same open meeting and open records laws as the government itself.
As we work toward implementing these proposals, we realize that many details will be filled in and some details will change. If you have specific questions or suggestions regarding our platform, or regarding our program to implement it, please let us know!