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Wieder's Move to Ban Gifts Lauded

March 07, 1993

Board of Supervisors Chairman Harriett Wieder has ordered (former Supervisor Don R.) Roth's staff to accept no more free lunches, stating: "If they weren't . . . (working for the Board of Supervisors), nobody would even buy them a cup of coffee." ("Roth Leaves Office as His Staff Is Reprimanded," March 2).

Well--no kidding! And does anyone believe this isn't true for the board members themselves?

I compliment Wieder on taking this long overdue action and for publicly stating the truth--that accepting gifts and other freebies "makes everybody look bad."

It's time for the board to bite the bullet and put an end to all this behind-the-scenes acceptance of gifts, whether it be free meals, free tickets to events, excursions, whatever.

They all know it's their position and not their charming personalities that attract these freebies.

The board can demonstrate their level of integrity by enacting a ban of "no gifts, no free meals, no paid-for excursions, etc." on all elected and appointed county officials and their staffs, starting with themselves.

In any other profession, acceptance of gifts is considered highly unethical and is banned by corporate/company policies.

I fail to see why political officials should not be held to the same standards.



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