Council would create a three-person Ethics Board
By Megan Kelley
LAKE ORION — At its meeting on Sept. 11, the Lake Orion Village Council held the first reading of a proposed ethics ordinance.
The first reading was approved by a 5-2 vote with Councilmembers Michael Lamb and Nancy Moshier casting the two no votes.
The council began discussion earlier this year about implementing an ethics ordinance and in May received a presentation from James Robb, chair of the City of Birmingham Ethics Board, where he gave an overview of what a proposed ethics ordinance would look like.
The drafted ordinance sets a minimum standard of ethical conduct by which all village officials, appointees and employees, elected or appointed, paid or unpaid, are expected to abide.
The proposed ordinance also lays out the process by which the ordinance will be enforced.
According to village documents, the council, by a majority vote, will select three people to serve on an Ethics Board. When a complaint is made, the board will then hold a hearing and issue and advisory opinion.
From there, the village council is responsible for issuing any sanctions for a violation and the village manager will be responsible for imposing any discipline for a violation, the ordinance states.
The council has had several lengthy conversations regarding the ordinance with some suggesting adding things like a nepotism rule.
However, Lamb has been vocal about his distaste for a section of the ordinance that would force council members to disclose property that they and their family own, as well as property interest, saying this could be harmful to council members.
Despite Lamb bringing this up several times, the ordinance remained unchanged and the section outlining property disclosures was still included in the reading.
The village council is expected to hold the second reading and potential approval for the ethics ordinance at its next meeting on Sept. 25.
The council meets regularly at 7:30 p.m. on the second and fourth Mondays of the month in council chambers at Village Hall, 21 E. Church St.
Agendas and council packets are available at lakeorion.org.