Local Officials Discuss Ethics In Government
Public authority needs public accountability … and some elected and appointed officials are working to meet those responsibilities. The Lakeshore’s Denise Turner says a variety of groups met yesterday at the third annual Shared Ethics Advisory Commission meeting … to discuss government ethics and to turn their talk into action.
They hit on hard issues that affect every spectrum of ethics in government … from favoritism in the office to not realizing an action is wrong.
Mark Maassel, President and CEO, Northwest Indiana Forum: This is great way to get the message out, it’s a great way to start the dialogue among a number of leaders and to carry that from here out into our day-to-day practices and lives.
Te message they want to convey is that government integrity is important in bringing business to northwest Indiana. Some leaders insist that ethical government behavior is not just good business … it’s good for business.
Maassel: We need to continue to strengthen the climate for businesses and our citizens here in northwest Indiana.
Lake County Prosecuting Attorney Bernard Carter agrees. He says his office investigates and prosecutes criminal conduct that stems from ethical issues. He also says he would like to see the public help police by providing tips.
Bernard Carter, Lake County Prosecuting Attorney: People think that law enforcement can solve your issues in your community via murder, via drug dealing, via burglarizing, via vandalism. it’s the people who live in that neighborhood who have to stand up and say, “we are not going to tolerate that.”
Not everyone who attended the session are members of the ethics effort but they too can gain new insight.
Andrew Kyres, Crown Point City Councilman: The opportunity to see what is this all about and how can it benefit their community.
Maassel: We have to continue to extinguish the practices of the past and what we are trying to help governmental leaders be able to understand the differences between the situations they encounter.
Some officials say in a time when ethics are far removed from government … they want to restore them and take them into the future.