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Eaton-Welsh: Ethics Code Reform Needed

Councilwoman Cris Welsh said during Monday night's council meeting that the city's ethics code needs to be revamped.

One member of the said the city's ethics code needs to be reformed.

Cris Eaton-Welsh told the council at Monday night's regular meeting that in light of a recent ethics complaint filed against Mayor Mark  Mathews, the ethics code needs to be revamped, including clarifying goals and defining expectations.

"No one knew there was a problem until there was an issue," Eaton-Welsh said.

Last month, Kennesaw resident David Ermutlu  alleging that the mayor uses city equipment for other business and that he has been facilitating meetings between his employer, MetroAtlanta Ambulance, and the city manager. He also last month.

But, at a called meeting on July 24, , saying that the allegations didn't violate the city's ethics code because it doesn't apply to elected officials. Following that meeting, , saying she was "blindsided" at the meeting.

Eaton-Welsh said she reviewed the ethics codes of 40 cities while on vacation.

"They're very specific," she said.

The city of Cartersville's code was one that stuck out to her because it addresses, among other things, gifts to council members and recusals.

"They lay everything out," she said. "There are no questions. Therey's no gray area."

Eaton-Welsh said she'd like to see not only the ethics board work with legal counsel to work on the city's code but also inovle members of various city committees so that more of the public is included.

"Our actions need to be absolutely above reproach," she said.

The council also held a public hearing regarding the sale and refilling of growlers which, if approved, would allow draft beer to be sold in sealed containers in package outlets. City Manager Steve Kennedy said that the beer would not be able to be consumed on the store's premises, just like other forms of alcohol, and that there is a specific process used to seal the container.

"They can't just use any container," he said.

Only one council member spoke on the issue.

"This is one step away from the family values we've established in this city," Councilman Tim Killingsworth said.

In other business, the council:

  • Voted to amend the city's alcohol ordinance to allow the city manager or his designee to extend an alcohol licensee's time period to begin selling alcohol if construction on the store is delayed;
  • Voted to enter into an agreement with the Georgia Electronic Accident Reporting System;
  • And swore in Lukas Fiechtl and Jonathan Jenkins, the newest members of the Kennesaw Youth Council.
Joe Bozeman August 12, 2012 at 12:00 PM
I have seen "Ken Iswickasham" posting on both the Patch and Kennesaw Watch. Like others, I thought Iswickasham to be a strange name in Kennesaw, Then it hit me square between the eyes. It's quite a clever alias "Is Wick {June} a sham". I must say this is very creative.
Coleman August 12, 2012 at 02:55 PM
I agree with Sam. You had your chance and blew it. Ms Alberstadt if you do get a chance to revamp the ethics rules, please don't use the gutter talk I have seen you use in other post. IE: "Pissed, Busted his ass, and Rats ass, these are not ethical phrases. You have had your days in the limelight, so why don't you just disappear and shut up.
John Himot August 14, 2012 at 04:20 PM
I too agree Eileen. Those we elect to office need to be held to the same standard that any other employee of the city is. I hope that you are asked to help in writing the new city Ethics Codes, you are a true Kennesaw Hero for standing up to our Mayor and Council. I am looking forward to the day when I see our Mayor and those in the Council standing up for true ethics and honor. Stay the course my friend.
John Himot August 14, 2012 at 04:28 PM
When I have posted my view on the mayor he came back with my voting record and asked why I have not voted in the city in the last ten years (which I have). Does that call to question what the mayor is doing with his title to look and see who those people are looking at him closely by going into their voting records. I wonder if he is using his city issued computer or other device to look into the history of all of us.
John Himot August 14, 2012 at 04:35 PM
I hope all of you make it to the town hall meeting. I see many here who will stand for what is right and get the city going in the right direction with ethics with honor. I hope many will come back to the patch and post what went on so others can know how it went. Thank you Eillen and Cris for being true to our city and the values that it should put forth to the community.

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