Government Ethics Alliance Passes Mission To 3 Other Teams
By Victor Cruz
Government ethics alliance passes mission to 3 other teamsBy Victor Cruz
The Alliance for Ethical Government, advocating honesty in local politics for the past three years, is passing its torch to three organizations, said president and former state supreme court justice Gerald Kogan.
The Miami-Dade County Commission on Ethics & Public Trust, the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce and the Miami Business Forum, he said, will take over where the alliance is ending. Mr. Kogan spoke Tuesday at the alliance’s final meeting.
"We can only do so much," he said. "Now it’s up to the community to finish the job."
"My plea to the community is, let’s not let this work go to waste," said Carlos Saladrigas, alliance co-chair. " Let’s get together and finish the job."
After implementing 30 of its 43 recommendations, 13 "sticky matters" remain, Mr. Kogan said. Chief among these is to raise commissioner salaries based on a state formula, Mr. Kogan said. That change, to be considered in 2002, would put county commissioners’ salaries at about $76,000, he said.
Mr. Kogan said other remaining initiatives include a financial disclosure law requiring elected officials to explain substantial changes in net worth, passage of a state "truth-in-advertising" law and requiring asset audits that extend up to three years after an official is elected.
Among the alliance’s proudest accomplishments, Mr. Kogan said, were the county’s limiting of public funding for mayoral and commission candidates, a rule that contractors sign an ethics code, the school board’s initiative to form an ethics group and the creation of a vendor center by the county’s procurement department.
The alliance, he said, accomplished its work with $526,000 raised privately and help from the state attorney’s office, which requires delinquent businesses to contribute to ethics organizations.