Our View: City needs to tighten ethics rules

By Signal Editorial Board

Last update: Friday, September 22nd, 2017

Santa Clarita City Councilman Bill Miranda did something recently as a public official that is truly mind-boggling.

In the latest issue of a local magazine, an advertisement from a local business features a photo of Miranda along with a testimonial he makes about the company’s products. He is identified in the ad as a City Council member.

Miranda claims he didn’t know his council title was going to be used in the ad. He then asked the business to stop using his testimonial.

OK, we’re glad that matter is settled, but why did Miranda agree to the testimonial in the first place? He’s a sitting council member no matter how he is identified. Why would he endorse one company’s products when he is supposed to represent the entire city, its residents and its businesses?

Such behavior can lead to all sorts of problems if companies know a council member is willing to push a firm’s products or services. Staying away from such conflicts is just common sense to us.

We believe Miranda’s fellow council members should publicly rebuke him for his behavior. They also should get wheels in motion to tighten city ethics policies.

Mayor Cameron Smyth told The Signal that he would have counseled Miranda against doing the testimonial if he had been asked. He also said it may be time for the council to update its “norms and procedures” as the city continues to grow.

“Norms and procedures” are the written rules outlining how the council functions and its members should behave. The current version states that when advocating their personal beliefs, council members should explicitly state that they are not representing the city. It appears now that wording should be stronger or a separate ethics policy should be established.

Smyth is right. The city is growing. It has grown into the third largest city in Los Angeles County, and its City Council members should act accordingly. They can’t be doing small-town favors for their friends and family anymore.

Some people may think that all this ethics stuff is just common sense, and we agree. But Councilman Miranda’s advertisement is a perfect example of why any city, business or organization needs detailed and clear rules of how people representing them are expected to behave. There should be no room for interpretation.

 

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Our View: City needs to tighten ethics rules

Santa Clarita City Councilman Bill Miranda did something recently as a public official that is truly mind-boggling.

In the latest issue of a local magazine, an advertisement from a local business features a photo of Miranda along with a testimonial he makes about the company’s products. He is identified in the ad as a City Council member.

Miranda claims he didn’t know his council title was going to be used in the ad. He then asked the business to stop using his testimonial.

OK, we’re glad that matter is settled, but why did Miranda agree to the testimonial in the first place? He’s a sitting council member no matter how he is identified. Why would he endorse one company’s products when he is supposed to represent the entire city, its residents and its businesses?

Such behavior can lead to all sorts of problems if companies know a council member is willing to push a firm’s products or services. Staying away from such conflicts is just common sense to us.

We believe Miranda’s fellow council members should publicly rebuke him for his behavior. They also should get wheels in motion to tighten city ethics policies.

Mayor Cameron Smyth told The Signal that he would have counseled Miranda against doing the testimonial if he had been asked. He also said it may be time for the council to update its “norms and procedures” as the city continues to grow.

“Norms and procedures” are the written rules outlining how the council functions and its members should behave. The current version states that when advocating their personal beliefs, council members should explicitly state that they are not representing the city. It appears now that wording should be stronger or a separate ethics policy should be established.

Smyth is right. The city is growing. It has grown into the third largest city in Los Angeles County, and its City Council members should act accordingly. They can’t be doing small-town favors for their friends and family anymore.

Some people may think that all this ethics stuff is just common sense, and we agree. But Councilman Miranda’s advertisement is a perfect example of why any city, business or organization needs detailed and clear rules of how people representing them are expected to behave. There should be no room for interpretation.

 

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Signal Editorial Board

Signal Editorial Board

  • lois eisenberg

    The present administration needs to tighten ethics rules ****
    “Corruption Air: Price used taxpayer-funded jet to get marching orders on repealing Obamacare”
    ETHICS BE DAM— ****

    • Bill Reynolds

      Calm down Lois, this issue has nothing to do with Obamacare and it’s failings.

      • lois eisenberg

        I know that ****
        Just thought I would add another bit of corrupt news about this
        destructive administration.
        I will continue to do so as long as long as this evil mad man is in the
        White House with his unethical ilk ***

        • Bill Reynolds

          “Elections have consequences.” Said Barack Hussein Obama. Now you have to live with the unraveling of Obama’s ruinous progressive policies, but if you’re lucky the pendulum may swing back to your favor sometime down the road.

          • lois eisenberg

            “A massive display of protest and solidarity by NFL teams. This means we can expect more of the same throughout the NFL in later games.” “Congratulations to the players for showing such unity and bravery.”
            Look what this despot has caused.
            If the pendulum doesn’t swing the other way America is on the road to
            destruction caused by an evil mad man.

          • lois eisenberg

            To those of you that don’t realize or accept what Trump stands for and
            what he is doing to our country here is some food for thought:
            “Dignity and grace on the world stage is what we can use today “

      • lois eisenberg

        This has nothing to do with Obamacare **
        Bravo to the all the athletics who are defying the evil mad man in the
        White House**

        • lois eisenberg

          “This is what the Flag stands for, Mr. President”
          “To believe that patriotism will not flourish if patriotic ceremonies are voluntary and spontaneous, instead of a compulsory routine,” is to make an unflattering estimate of the appeal of our institutions to free minds.”

  • lois eisenberg

    Here is some more destructive facts about the present appalling administration.
    “Donald Trump has lied about nearly everything that has happened since he became president.”
    “He inflated the number of people at his inauguration. He falsely accused President Obama of wiretapping him. He insists he won the popular vote – a claim 3 million votes away from the truth – yet also swears millions of illegal votes were cast. And now he’s lying about his support for white nationalists.”

  • lois eisenberg

    “This is what the flag stands for, Mr. President”
    “If there is any fixed star in our constitutional constellation, it is that no official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion, or force citizens to confess by word or act their faith therein.”