Thursday, April 8, 2021

Upping the Charges against a City Council Member

Yesterday, I charged a Richardson City Council member with violating the norms and customs of remaining nonpartisan in city council elections. Current council member Kyle Kepner endorsed two other council candidates for the sole reason that they are Republicans. Today, I up the charge.

It has since been pointed out to me that Kepner's actions may have violated more than just tradition. He might have violated Richardson's Code of Ethics, which states that it is the policy of the City "that the City Council at all times shall be maintained as a nonpartisan body." The City Council cannot remain a nonpartisan body if its members are free to campaign in a nakedly politically partisan manner.

Kepner might claim that the city policy is an unenforceable violation of his Constitutional right of free speech. If the City agrees with that argument, the Code of Ethics ought to be repealed and replaced. Alternatively, if the Code of Ethics is enforceable, the City Council ought to censure Kepner for turning the City Council into a partisan body. There is no third option here.

3 comments:

Unknown said...

Who enforces the Code of Ethics at City Hall?

Unknown said...

Section 2.7 of the Richardson Code of Ethics:
"All complaints or allegations of a violation of this Code of Ethics against an officer shall be made in writing on a form provided by the City, sworn to before a notary public, and filed of record with the City Secretary. Such complaint shall describe in detail the act or acts complained of and the specific section(s) of this Code of Ethics alleged to have been violated. A general complaint lacking in detail shall not be sufficient to invoke the investigation procedures contained herein; and anonymous complaints shall not be considered."
Pat. Griffin (concerned citizen)

Alastair said...

I think the context of the post might be relevant here. It looks like it was a reply to reply, but the original post is not shown in the image. That may make it look even worse but I think if one to actually file an ethics complaint that evidence would be needed.

I don't see the partisanship going away, but from my view it hasn't really reflected in candidate's platforms and its still really hard to tell what the candidates actually want to do differently from each other.