Panel sets new public meeting on Port Townsend ethics code

PORT TOWNSEND — A Port Townsend City Council ad hoc committee working on proposed changes to the city’s code of ethics has set another meeting, hoping to elicit public input.

Council members David Faber, Amy Howard and Pamela Adams make up the committee, which was formed to gather more public input on the proposed code of ethics changes after three community members said during an August council meeting that input had been insufficient.

No members of the public attended the group’s first meeting Wednesday.

Howard, Faber and Adams decided it was best to set another meeting of the ad hoc committee to give adequate time for public comment.

The next meeting is scheduled for 3 p.m. Oct. 19 in council chambers in historic City Hall, 540 Water St.

The original proposal would simply switch the city’s current code of ethics to the code used by the state.

According to City Attorney Steve Gross, who attended the Wednesday meeting, the vast majority of the city’s current code is “copied and pasted” from the state code.

The proposed changes would get rid of alterations made in the early 2000s, which made the code redundant and overly complicated, according to a statement made by Gross in the August meeting.

In the past 12 years, the city has only had two ethics complaints under the current code, according to Gross.

Faber, Howard and Adams said they would like to present recommendations to the council, including new language involving an ethics officer and keeping the statue of limitations for ethics complaints at three years, but will wait until after the next committee meeting to present anything to the full City Council.

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Jefferson County Editor/Reporter Cydney McFarland can be reached at 360-385-2335, ext. 55052, or at [email protected]

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