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Moss’ prior contact with ethics policy

One question of the Allen County Ethics Commission’s investigation into a traffic stop involving County Councilman Paul Moss is whether the panel even has jurisdiction over elected officials.

The county’s ethics ordinance covers elected officials, though whether the commission can legally enforce any discipline of an elected official is undetermined. In fact, the commissioners included elected officials only after a petition was launched by then-County Auditor Lisa Borgmann to include them. Among those who signed the petition wanting the policy to cover elected officials?

Paul Moss.

In fact, after the commissioners adopted the ethics ordinance in 2005, Moss complained that its limits on gifts didn’t go far enough.

Recommendations

Today, The Journal Gazette begins its recommendations for offices in the 2012 election, and it’s worth an explanation about why the editorial board offers suggestions on which candidate to choose.

Unlike many voters, members of the editorial staff generally have the opportunity to speak with the candidates and ask specific questions about what they would do in office. The editorial staff also observes incumbents and their actions, as well as challengers who have had previous public responsibilities.

Of course, the recommendations are made through the prism of the editorial board’s positions on other issues.

First and foremost, members of the board strongly believe the actions of public officials should be open and transparent. Many of our choices, particularly for local office, involve not partisanship but simply good government. Officials must balance the need for services with the burden taxes cause, should adopt tax policies that recognize fairness and ability to pay, and should represent their constituents well while knowing when to vote their own conscience even if most voters disapprove. Honesty and ethical behavior are vital.

Editorial endorsements have a long tradition among newspaper editorial pages, but they do not reflect the views of news reporters, who make every effort to be fair and impartial in their reporting and writing.

If our editorials recommending candidates cause you to think about your choices, if they reinforce decisions you have already made, even if they make you even more determined to vote for the other candidate, then we have succeeded in our reasons for making recommendations.

Ellspermann fundraiser

Republican City Councilman – and 2015 mayoral candidate – Mitch Harper is hosting a fund- raiser for Sue Ellspermann, the GOP candidate for lieutenant governor, Friday at Club Soda. Others lending their name to the event include State Sen. Dennis Kruse, State Rep. Kathy Heuer and Eric Doden, who unsuccessfully sought the GOP nomination for mayor last year.

Tracy Warner, editorial page editor, has worked at The Journal Gazette since 1981. He can be reached at 461-8113 or by email, twarner@jg.net.

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