Utahns are familiar with the argument against ethics rules: the trust-us, you-can't-avoid-conflicts, we-know-best line of reasoning. In 2007, Draper City enacted an ethics ordinance that ostensibly took the state ethics rules a step further. "(The ordinance) will alleviate public perception that we as public officials would take advantage of our position," the City Councilman Bill Colbert said in a Deseret News article. Then, this year, the council proposed easing the anti-nepotism law so that the city could hire family members of appointed and elected officials. A public uproar convinced the council to pull back. Three council members who wanted hiring restrictions lifted changed their minds, and the council was unanimous in supporting the anti-nepotism law, according to The Salt Lake Tribune. One resident said such a change would make the council look like "stereotypical corrupt politicians."
City vs. State
Salt Lake City is positioning itself, once again, against things the state of Utah holds dear. Of course, that means money and business interests. In a press release from Mayor Jackie Biskupski, the city joined 53 others nationwide in supporting President Obama's Clean Power Plan. The National League of Cities and the U.S. Conference of Mayors also signed the amicus brief. The state, however, joined a lawsuit to block the Environmental Protection Agency rules, according to a KUER Radio report. And, of course, the state's congressional delegation is all about opposing the EPA. With state support for coal, this surprises no one. So, once again, thanks Obama.