Fleischman: OC Sups Should Reveal Cost of Ethics Plan

Orange County Supervisors vote to put a measure on the ballot that, if approved, would require the Auditor-Controller to put a fiscal analysis before the voters for any ballot measures upon which they will be voting.

Great idea.

On statewide ballot measures the Legislative Counsel’s office puts their own independent analysis of measures in the voter pamphlet.

That said, at the same time that they did this, Supervisor voted (with Steel and Do dissenting) to NOT require such a fiscal analysis for the upcoming measure they voted to put on the ballot creating a County ethics commission.

This is a total cop out.

Of course there should be a fiscal analysis for voters on this measure. The absence of one leaves an important piece of information unavailable to voters. It also means the absence of an important check and balance — the Supervisors placed this item on the ballot – presumably they will sign the argument in support of it. The Supervisors are not objective — they are biased in support of the measure. Having the independent Auditor-Controller give a fiscal analysis makes a lot of sense. Last I checked an informed electorate is a desirable thing.

Some concerns were expressed that the proposed ethics commission measure lacks the specificity within it to really allow the Auditor-Controller to give an accurate financial analysis. My response to that is that perhaps the proposed measure needs to be tightened up and made more specific. If not, shouldn’t voters know that this is the case?

Supervisors should reconsider their decision to deprive voters of an independent fiscal analysis of the proposed ethics commission measure.

Jon Fleischman is publisher of the Flash Report.

Voice of OC is interested in hearing different perspectives and voices. If you want to weigh in on this issue please contact Voice of OC Publisher Norberto Santana, Jr. at nsantana@voiceofoc.org