Did Councilman Gossett violate County ethics policy?May 25, 2010 @ 11:06 pm (Updated: 12:45 pm - 4/6/11 )
As I reported yesterday, King County Councilman Larry Gossett blocked elevators and sat in the middle of the street as he took part in last week's rally to push for amnesty for all the illegals in our midst. And Gossett did all his protesting on the taxpayers dime.
A listener to the show inquired if Gossett had taken a vacation or personal day to participate in the rally. According to his chief of staff Cindy Domingo:
As far as your questions in regards to Councilmember Gossett being “on company time,” the answer is yes, Councilmember Gossett was protesting in his official capacity as a King County Councilmember. As a King County Councilmember, he has a responsibility to respond to issues that concerns his constituency and people in King County. King County has a large number of immigrants, documented and undocumented, that are impacted by the issue of immigration reform and it is out of this concern that Councilmember Gossett participated in yesterdays actions.
Now the question arises: did Councilman Gossett violate the County ethics policy with his protest? According to the King County Code of Ethics:
POLITICAL ACTIVITIES: You are encouraged to participate in the political process on your own time and outside of the workplace, but you may not use county facilities for such purposes.
Clearly the immigration rally was a political protest. it seems to me the county ethics code calls for employees to do their political activism on their own time - not while they are collecting a paycheck from the taxpayers.
As I said on the show Tuesday, perhaps it's time for King County to reduce the size of the County Council from nine to five members. Lon Angeles County has five times the population of King County - and they operate fine with just five council members.
If our councilmen have so much free time that they can protest for illegals while on the clock, perhaps it's time to reduce their numbers.
On a side note, KING-5 has confirmed that, while most people in the private sector have taken a pay cut in the last year, every single one of King County's nearly 18-thousand employees got a minimum two-percent pay raise this year.
About ten percent of those workers - 1,474 employees - make over $100,000/year.
Remember this when they tell us they need to raise taxes - and cut your pay even more - to keep county government running.
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