I just came home from the 3rd Wylie City Council code of ethics workshop. There seemed to be quite a bit of tension in the room. In fact, you could cut the tension with a knife at times. I wonder if it is because Councilman David Goss showed up on the Ethics doorstep since Councilman Jones was out tending to his sick mother?
There is no secret that some bad blood exists between the Hogue and Goss. At the last work session, Mayor Eric Hogue made a comment about an official trip to Las Vegas that he deemed questionable with regard to ethical behavior, and at the beginning of this work session, Councilman Goss made it a point to state for the record that he did not appreciate the comment made about him. Now in all fairness, Goss’ name did not come up in the last work session, however anyone who knows the story that Mayor Hogue has repeated about the Vegas trip knows Hogue’s comment was made in reference to Goss. I mean, any idiot could see that was what was going on at that last work session. Wow, what happens in Vegas clearly does not stay in Vegas.
Note to self, don’t visit Vegas when any council members are around to report back to tiny Wylie because I’m kind of thinking in some of my past trips to Vegas I am guilty of breaking nearly every rule in the code of ethics and maybe a few cardinal ones as well. But hey, this is about our council and I am off the hook.
Outward appearance would seem to indicate that the sub-committee is hard at work hammering out the specifics. Yes, they have put forth quite a bit of effort. Yet my gut tells me something is awry. Why so much tacit compliance suddenly from a Mayor Eric Hogue who has vehemently opposed working on such a thing in the past? Oh sure, the media Hogue’s words of yore said he would support a Code of Conduct but his deeds each time the topic actually came up proved anything but support.
Based upon my knowledge of how our council members work together, I have formed an opinion on just how I see this mother of all codes thingy going down:
- The subcommittee has directed City Manager Mindy Manson to put together the final copy for council.
- At the next city council meeting on Valentine’s Day, the 7 little sweethearts are going to agree on a work session date so all 7 may sit down and hash through it.
- Council will hit the work session and immediately Mayor Pro Tem Red Byboth and Councilman Rick White will likely begin their whining. Councilwoman Spillyards will promptly agree with whatever Byboth says.
- Ultimately, council will vote as to whether it should be sent on to Abernathy the Attorney. Yes, that sounds sort of like sending it to the Green Ogre, but hey, they all seem to really like the guy so I guess he can’t be that bad, damn the attorney title. They’ll get their majority vote on this because the more conservative crowd Jones, Culver, and Goss will vote yes and they’ll get their yes out of Mayor because he would look like a fool if he didn’t also vote in the affirmative after putting in so much effort on it.
- Now here comes the fun part, trust me. Abernathy will be handed the packet and told something like this, “You don’t want to approve this do you?” To which Abernathy will red-line everything and advise council not to bother because yadda yadda yadda all in his canned legalese he will explain why they don't want it. Now remember, Abernathy is the one who worked up the Frisco Code of Conduct. You remember the one, the corrected one from 2009 which actually works, as opposed to the previous one held high overhead in clenched fist by Abernathy and council pals as a reason these codes don't work.
- Now here is the interesting part. This immediately removes Mayor Hogue from any culpability and he can Teflon the code right off his backside, thus the final vote will not be a majority and the whole ethics idea dies a quick death.
If this code dies, I suspect Goss and Byboth will pick up their cell phones and begin texting audience members with jokes and yuckity yucks. Culver will let a few F-bombs fly just for giggles. White could begin selling advertisements for his business. Spillyards could begin soliciting audience members for homesales, and hells, why don't we also add Hogue could begin campaigning for his pal during the meetings. Silly hyperbole of course, but it proves my point that if council does not approve the code, then they have all agreed they have the right to do whatever the hell they feel like unless someone contacts the state.
So the big question remains, can our council overcome their utter predictability of being skeeredy cats and vote to approve this code or will they move headlong into the all too familiar bait and switch tactic we see played out with regular reverberation by council? Will the Code of Ethics be the ultimate big tease like a Vegas lap dance or will these seven people finally make it into the 2012s and get with the program? The waiting game begins.