Two sensible and much-needed ethics ordinances were proposed to the Carlsbad City Council by Councilman Mark Pettine on Oct. 11. The first proposal called for the registration of paid lobbyists, similar to the laws presently existing at the national, state and county level. The second proposal set rules for council members and commissioners who have actively solicited money from applicants in cases involving pending city decisions.
The reaction of the City Council to these proposals should inform every voter about the quality of the present council.
One councilman theatrically exited the chamber, declaring that the proposals were directed at him. It is indeed a bizarre twist when a lawgiver disqualifies himself from consideration of an ethics measure. I suppose we should be grateful for this spasm of honesty among politicians.
The remaining council members then considered the proposed measures, finding them untimely, troublesome and unnecessary.
The timeliness argument held that it is too close to the election to introduce such matters. In fact, similar measures were introduced by Mr. Pettine in January and again in September and were shelved by the council. Election time is actually a good time to consider ethics measures, so the electorate can assess their representatives while corrective action is possible.