March 8, 2010
IT IS DISAPPOINTING to see the city's Board of Ethics undermine its own reputation for solid work by its adoption of the ethical stinkbomb called the DROP program. Evan Meyer, general counsel for the Board of Ethics, signed up for the city's Deferred Retirement Option Plan, which meant that in exchange for agreeing to retire by a certain date, he would get a special payment of some of his pension benefits in a lump sum. Meyer was allowed to take advantage of the program's most unseemly loophole by retiring for a day in order to collect the lump sum, and then getting hired back at his former salary.
May 26, 2005
HERE IS our handy Daily News ballot you can take to the polls . . . oops, the primary was last week wasn't it? Today, there is a vote that will have a bigger impact on the city than a new slate of judicial candiates: the vote in City Council on a significant ethics reform bill. This bill changes how no-bid contracts are awarded and may be voted on by Council today. A slew of other ethics bills are currently in committee, and all could be voted on before Council recesses in June.
July 8, 1986
In your June 22 article on surrogate mothers, research on embryos (unborn human beings), and related issues, Dr. Michael Birnbaum is quoted as saying, "The ethical questions are always there, but the minute we stop doing something because of ethics, we stop going forward and start going backward. " He seems to be saying that if scientists possess the knowledge and ability to perform a given act, they should do it regardless of the consequences. This is precisely the attitude that disturbs many people, including me. The divorce of ethical considerations from science can only result in the most horrible abuses of human rights.
July 30, 1989 |
Paul Contillo's home town of Paramus in Bergen County was a boom town during the 1970s, and in the rush to build shopping centers and other developments, Contillo saw some troubling things in municipal government. "We had tremendous pressure on the planning board and the board of adjustment for considerations for developers, and the boards were filled with insurance adjustors and plumbers and people like that," recalled Contillo, then a Paramus councilman and now a Democratic state senator.
May 20, 2010
TODAY, WITH ALL eyes fixed on the budget, Council could move to pass a package of "ethics" bills, not all of which are especially ethical. One part of the package, a proposal to require lobbyists to register with the city and disclose their activities, is a good idea. Unfortunately, it's lumped together with another bill that would lift a longstanding ban on political activity by city employees. This would depend on public approval of a charter change that would give Council authority to set political-activity rules by ordinance, rather than seeking voter approval.
June 24, 1989 |
We have a problem in this country with what our President might call "the ethics thing. " We have also been made aware in recent years that we have a massive problem in our school systems. Let us call this second problem, just to keep things neat, a matter of "this thinking thing. " The graduates of our schools - even our elite business and professional schools - don't seem to be very good at solving ethical or moral problems. And the graduates of all our schools - but especially our public secondary schools - don't seem to be very good at any kind of thinking.
March 5, 1994
There are two kinds of responsibility. There is moral responsibility, powerful and immutable. And legal responsibility, which is negotiable. There are also two kinds of ethics. There are moral ethics, which are grounded solidly, and legal ethics, subject to the kind of interpretation that would make an eastern European figure skating judge blanch. For instance, NBC-TV was morally irresponsible when it put igniters in a truck for a show on General Motors' pickup trucks, which seem to have a disquieting tendency to blow up. It was ethically dubious as well, so NBC fired a bunch of people, fell all over itself apologizing and replaced its news boss.
May 14, 1987 |
The Haverford Township Board of Commissioners has pledged to adopt a code of ethics, but has not determined a method or time by which it will do so. Unanimous approval of the intention came Monday night after the board rejected, by the surprisingly close vote of 5-4, a specific code proposed by Commissioner Ben Kapustin. In most cases, a proposal by the board's lone Democrat would have been soundly defeated. Kapustin first offered his code six months ago. In the face of indifference and hostility from other board members, he dropped the plan until two weeks ago, when the proposed code came under heavy criticism.
December 21, 2004
I find it absolutely amazing that in a city where corruption is an accepted form of doing business, city workers would question a law that protects the taxpayer from possible nepotism. If Councilman David Cohen's daughter is incapable of understanding her father's actions and still holds a grudge after 20 years, I think there must be other problems in the relationship. I'm also amazed by Councilman Rick Mariano successfully lobbying for a job for his son. Mariano was angry that his family members couldn't apply for a job with the city.