By: Todd Spitzer, Chairman, OC Board of Supervisors
At the urging of Chairman Todd Spitzer, the Orange County Board of Supervisors formed a committee on ethics during today’s Board of Supervisors meeting. Each Supervisor was asked to appoint a staff member to the committee to study the issue of an ethics commission and to formulate policy recommendations on the ethics commission debate. The Board discussed potential issues that should be addressed including the budget, subpoena power, appointments and training.
“We presented the public with Measure E to partner with the Fair Political Practices Commission, and the voters agreed,” said Chairman Spitzer. “Unfortunately, implementation is stalled in the state legislature so we need to revisit the issue.” Chairman Spitzer directed the new committee to gather information and propose initiatives to formulate recommendations to the Board of Supervisors over the next thirty days.
In April 2015, Chairman Spitzer hosted an informative roundtable discussion on the future of ethics in Orange County. After voters approved Measure E, Supervisor Spitzer committed to launching a countywide discussion on ethics in Orange County. At the forum, an overview regarding the current structure of ethics oversight was addressed. The public participated in identifying issues of concern related to enforcement and possible solutions for improving the ethical culture of county elected officials in Orange.
Measure E was the Nelson-Spitzer measure that would allow for the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) to Enforce County Campaign Finance Rules upon passage of legislation to allow for the County to contract with the FPPC. Orange County voters approved Measure E by a decisive 56.5%-43.5% margin in the November 2014 election, authorizing the FPPC to enforce Orange County’s local campaign finance ordinance (TINCUP). The Board of Supervisors had voted unanimously to place Measure E on the ballot at the urging of the Board’s Subcommittee on Ethics, which consisted of Supervisors Shawn Nelson and Todd Spitzer.