Archive for the ‘Mike Sanders’ Category

Are the Wheels Starting to Come Off Mike Sanders’ Bandwagon?

Wednesday, August 11th, 2010

Mike Sanders has led a charmed political life since he stepped into the Jackson County Executive’s office. The Star, for whatever reason, prefers to focus its attention almost solely on the City government. Whenever scant attention has been drawn to the County, it’s usually because of some flamboyant nonsense undertaken by the legislature, such as the attempted labor sell-out by Henry Rizzo, or the Jackson County Ethics Blackout, when legislators brazenly attempted to exempt themselves from the Ethics Code they imposed on everyone else.

In other words, it’s not hard to stay out of the local circus spotlight when you have Mayor Funkhouser, the City Council, and the Jackson County legislature performing daily tricks on the trapeze.

Not that Sanders has been complaining about the lack of attention. Most of Sanders’ accomplishments have been achieved by avoiding the glare of sustained attention. The COMBAT tax appeared on a ballot carefully selected to draw a low turn-out, in an off-year election, a year before it was due to expire. Similarly, the changes to the Jackson County charter were accomplished before the prior charter called for a public review, and were pushed through on a low-turnout primary ballot.

Sanders has been pretty much having his way, but remaining quiet about it.

It’s easier to keep successes silent than failures, though, and Sanders may be reaching the tipping point where he could be dragged into the spotlight.

Most alarmingly, Sanders wound up on the wrong side of the Rizzo/Williams battle for the county legislature. Back when it appeared that the CCP Executive Committee might actually stand for County Progress and endorse Crystal Williams, he circulated an Orwellian email falsely portraying Rizzo as a supporter of ethics, despite Rizzo’s attempt to exempt the legislature from compliance. Later, when Rizzo tried to salvage his primary campaign against Williams by including Sanders’ picture on a mailing, it was too little, too late.

Other missteps are adding to the concern. He is pushing a “regional rapid rail” scheme, despite the unlikelihood that local voters would willingly saddle themselves with tens of millions of dollars for construction costs to create a system that will cost millions more, every year, to operate. It’s a nice dream, but the money’s not ever going to be there.

Speaking of money, only a compliant, spendthrift Kansas City Council saved Sanders from major embarrassment during the latest budget battles. Once again, the Council donated taxpayer money to the County to pay for the stadiums, despite the fact that the City is not obligated to do so. Had our City Council chosen to fund our city instead of giving money away, Sanders would have had a tough time explaining why he hadn’t ironed out an agreement before the issue came up again.

(See Update Below.) Most recently, the blame for the Kerr/LeVota debacle appears to be sticking to his teflon. The buck for the Jackson County clerk’s office stops at Sanders’ desk, and whether it was corruption or outrageous incompetence, it was a backroom blunder. Now that Phil Levota has generously and effectively smoothed over the problem, only the uncomfortable questions remain about whether it was corruption or incompetence in Sanders’ clerk’s office.

Mike Sanders has crafted a reputation as a quietly effective executive who makes things happen in the back rooms of Jackson County. Frankly, while I prefer transparency, I have a grudging respect for someone who can get things done without drama.

The past several months have been costly to Sanders’ reputation. Can he regain his magic touch, or have we seen the first cracks in a crumbling foundation?

UPDATE: As one of the commenters pointed out, I was wrong to lay the blame for the corruption or incompetence in the clerk’s office on Mike Sanders’ plate. The clerk is actually the clerk of the legislature; the incompetence or corruption is not Sanders’ fault. Thank you for the correction!

When Cleaver Retires, Who Will Go to Washington?

Wednesday, May 26th, 2010

It’s been a rough year for Congressman Emanuel Cleaver.  He turned 65, he got spat on and called names, and his efforts to return civility to Congress have been spectacularly unsuccessful in the most polarized Congress since Sumner got caned.  He shows no signs of retiring, but, eventually, he will.

Who will take his place?  A crafty old insider, or a rising star?

Over at, I mention Al Riederer, Jolie Justus, Kay Barnes, Mark Funkhouser, Jason Kander, Airick Leonard West and Mike Sanders.  (I was kidding about Funkhouser, though I’m still correct about him having the best chance of winning the 2011 Mayoral election.)

Whom did I miss?

The "K" to Become "KC" – Barnes and Sanders Team Up!

Wednesday, March 17th, 2010

The announcement of Kay Barnes as the choice to head up a Jackson County Charter Review Task Force didn’t attract much notice, but it could be the most significant event for Kansas City political insiders since Tom Pendergast started selling concrete.

A task force to review the Jackson County Charter sounds like an innocuous, perhaps even dull, assignment for a woman who once spent her days being chauffeured to ribbon-cuttings at taxpayer-financed boondoggles that profited her closest friends. Term limits forced her out of that cushy gig, much to the disappointment of her entourage of developers and real estate lawyers. A subsequent attempt to take her game to the next level by seeking access to the even larger federal dollar pot resulted in a bruising defeat and a nightmarish couple years spent north of the river, miles from the Country Club Plaza.

“Kay and I met one day when she accidentally visited Independence, thinking she would find the headquarters of The Independent, Kansas City’s Journal of Society,” Jackson County Executive Mike Sanders recounted.

“I saw my opportunity to solve some of the County’s real estate problems – namely, the fact that the City has begun to realize that they have no obligation to donate $2,000,000 to the stadiums. Kay has demonstrated a real knack for sticking Kansas City taxpayers with outrageous financial obligations, and that is exactly what I wanted to accomplish.”

While the Jackson County Charter Review Commission has yet to hold its first meeting, big changes are already afoot. Barnes is taking a fresh approach to the task, using the opportunity to use the County’s governing document to alter some fundamental relationships.

Kay Barnes beamed with excitement as she announced the most visible change. “From now on, the ‘K’ will be called the ‘KC’!,” she proclaimed from behind a humongous flower.

While many in the audience assumed that the name was being changed to reflect a more active role for Kansas City, her posse of developers and real estate lawyers were quick to correct the mistake.

“‘Kauffman Stadium’ will now officially be called ‘Kauffman-Cordish’ Stadium, and the stadium complex will henceforth be part of the Power and Light District,” former City Manager Wayne Cauthen announced. “I had never actually read the contracts between the City and Cordish, but it turns out that instead of promising free parking, like Kay and I told people it did, it actually gave Cordish the rights to use taxpayer funds to directly take over local businesses instead of slowly driving them out of business. Who knew?”

Of course, once Cordish takes over the site, Kansas City taxpayers will be on the hook for all the risk but none of the profit. “That’s the way it works,” former Mayor Barnes explained. “We’re already paying $12 million this year for P&L, up from $4 million last year. What’s another few million dollars? The snow on the streets will be melted by the time baseball season starts.”

The deal will have a major impact on the management of the Royals baseball team, as well. CEO David Glass made the announcement that Steve Glorioso, longtime aide to Kay Barnes, will be joining Royals management as Revenge Coach.

“For years we’ve focused on Offense and Defense, but it hasn’t worked out very well for us. When we saw how Mr. Glorioso handled the defeat of his chosen candidates in the Mayoral and Congressional elections, we realized we were missing out on an important facet of the complete game. From now on, whenever a team defeats us, we will focus on attacking them, their families, and their supporters. We will contact other teams in the league to badmouth the victors, and then we will badmouth those teams when it suits us.” Glorioso chimed in, “Do you know what kind of cars opposing players drive? Do you know that some of them talk to their wives about the games??”

When asked why they were hiring Mr. Glorioso instead of someone with a better track record of success, Mr. Glass explained, “Jeff Roe was already talking to the Yankees, and Steve pointed to his experience.”

Critics pointed to a looming problem with the concept of Cordish ownership of the the stadium. A reporter from a small newspaper raised the question – “What will those money-loving #### do when black athletes show up in athletic apparel?”

Cordish was not yet prepared to respond to the issue. “We’re at least two task forces and a committee away from figuring out what to do with the dress code issue,” Mayor Funkhouser replied. “Until we get it resolved, we will expect all athletes to play in proper ‘club’ attire.”

As the press conference came to a close, Anne McGregor showed up in the parking lot with a few paid petitioners in an attempt to “Recall the Umpire”. Upon hearing that there was no legal basis to recall the umpire, she explained that the umpire is the least popular person on the field, and that she felt compelled to try to score a few political points off the opportunity. “Even when – I mean if – I fail again to get the right number of legitimate signatures, I can get some publicity for my effort. Oh, and I’m supposed to say ‘Stop the nonsense’ – my sponsors pay me money every time I say that!”

In a final note, Cordish announced that the Kansas City Royals Hall of Fame will be broadening its scope. “When we came to Kansas City, the first thing we did was bring in Minneapolis barbecue to replace Lil’ Jake’s. We want to bring a certain bland homogeneity to all cities, and we see no reason that the Kansas City Royals Hall of Fame should feature Kansas City Royals. We’ll be replacing the George Brett statue with a Kirby Puckett statue on opening day,” a nameless company spokesperson recited. “The Johnson Countians we’re hoping to attract probably won’t notice the difference.”

Let’s Talk Politics This Time

Friday, February 12th, 2010

Last year about this time, we discussed whether the City Council should make a $2,000,000 donation to the County, in the form of stadium subsidies. I opposed the decision, the Mayor opposed the decision, but the City Council voted 12-1 to give money away.

Since then, the Chiefs and Royals have had horrific seasons with terrible attendance, the City has not had sufficient money to clear streets, our murder rate remains high, a rapist roams Waldo, city employees have been laid off, remaining city workers have had their wages frozen, and we’ve installed Cathy Jolly’s odious red light cameras to generate revenues. All this, and nobody has had the cleverness to point out that the City Councilmembers who voted for the donation should be held accountable for their shocking priorities.

And now the issue is back again.

(As an aside, why don’t some of the crack reporters for the Star do an article about the FREE Royals and Chiefs tickets handed out to County and City politicians? Who’s sitting in those seats? Are they even being used? I’d be willing to bet there’s a story there – either the politicians are handing them out to donors, or they’re wasting the tickets. And, as another aside, why doesn’t the Star do a story on why, exactly, we even have a Jackson County Sports Authority? How much bureaucracy do we need to pay for simply to keep track of two tenants??)

This year, I’m not even going to bother arguing about the wisdom of stealing $2,000,000 from the city’s coffers. My opinion remains clear, but let’s look at a much smaller issue.

How do the politics of this debate work this year? Will Funkhouser’s suggestion that we end the exemption do him political harm or political good? Will it harm him by showing him (again) as out of step with the Council and willing to risk our sports franchises? Or will it help him by showing him (again) as out of step with the Council and being the only one who prefers to spend $2,000,000 on things like police protection, snow removal, and city workers rather than weak athletes?

I’m curious about what people think. A good friend emailed me when the news came out and said that this closes off Funkhouser’s path to reelection – “Voters won’t tolerate our Mayor screwing Chiefs and Royals, regardless of the budget shortfalls.” He may be right, or he may be wrong, and the decision could be a step on the path toward reelection. (I know a lot of you disagree with a lot of Funkhouser’s decisions, and believe that reelection is utterly impossible. That’s fine – but, if you can, try to analyze the politics of this one decision. I’d love to know what you think.)

(Update: A commenter claimed that city officials get tickets, but county officials don’t. The commenter is mistaken. Under the lease agreements, County officials get a suite and prime parking. See page 16, section 7.4. It’s offensive to think that the City Council would steal money from city priorities so that county officials can watch games from a suite.)

Join the Jackson County Ethics Commission – Day 112 of the Jackson County Ethics Blackout

Monday, March 30th, 2009

I recently spoke with one of the County legislators most resistant to Ethical Home Rule. Not only did he attack the concept of local oversight, he even had the gall to attack the future ethics commission. “Do you really think Sanders is going to appoint people he doesn’t control?”, he whined. That vile little attack on the process came from someone who agrees with the appointment of criminals to be a majority of the Anti-Drug Committee.

The fact is, Mike Sanders will appoint whichever 5 nominees that the Ethics Commission Selection Committee delivers to him. Mike Sanders has been above-board through this whole process, and is the prime mover behind the move to articulate the very Ethics Code that the Jackson County legislators are excluding themselves from. Unlike the Jackson County legislators, Mike Sanders is not foolish enough to maneuver himself into a battle against ethics. It takes a special kind of stupid to fight against Ethical Home Rule in Jackson County, and Sanders doesn’t suffer from that kind of stupid.

Unfortunately, the Jackson County Ethics Commission Selection Committee is facing a few problems in finding a properly balanced slate of candidates to submit to Mike Sanders for appointment. The application “deadline” has been extended from the end of February until whenever they can get a great slate of candidates they feel confident will carry out their duties impartially and diligently. Here is the application, and here are the qualifications. The application is a simple online form and the qualifications are minimal.

If you read this blog, and live in Jackson County, you probably qualify to be a member of the Jackson County Ethics Commission. Stepping up and serving now would give you a chance to learn more about how the County works. More importantly, you would be playing an important role in the return to Ethical Home Rule for Jackson County.

Hint – while the Charter requires that “no more than three commissioners must be from the same political party”, there is no restriction that you must belong to either of the major parties. Seems like this would be a great way for one of those third parties to get somebody involved in actual government . . .

Won’t you consider going online and filling out the short application? If you will not or cannot, do you know somebody who might be waiting for a call from you to get involved? Would you please make that call?

I promise to continue the fight to bring Ethical Home Rule back to Jackson County, but the fight is meaningless if we can’t find 5 citizens to serve on the Ethics Commission. The criminals on the Jackson County Legislature and their secretive colleagues are quite happy to allow the Ethics Commission to remain unfilled. They need our oversight.

We don’t owe $2,000,000

Monday, March 9th, 2009

Mark Funkhouser has taken a lot of heat for his proposal that the City should stop paying $2,000,000 out of its general funds to support the Truman Sports Complex. He’s absolutely right. We have no contract or law obligating us to make such a staggering gift, and it is insulting to the poor citizens of Kansas City that we would reduce basic services while subsidizing suburban entertainment.

According to news reports, Mike Sanders and others are claiming that if the City of Kansas City does not bail out the stadiums, it will be violating the leases, freeing the Royals and Chiefs to leave the area. That is an absolute lie, and I have the proof.

I have read the lease agreements, and found something amazing. The City of Kansas City did not sign the leases. In fact the agreements (page 13, section 14.a.ii, of the Royals contract and page 21, section 10.5.2(ii)(a) of the Chiefs contract) to be precise) refer to payments by the City as “currently” $2,000,000, which clearly anticipates that the amount could change in the future. Mike Sanders is playing with other people’s money.

Kansas City cannot violate a lease it never signed.

I have spent a lot of time looking at the City’s budget, and this is not a good year for us to be giving money away when we are under no obligation to do so. In a time when we are looking at cutting the police, closing community centers and jacking up the property tax, it’s impossible to justify spending such a huge amount of money for stadiums. We are in the process of firing people – city employees are losing their jobs – and Mike Sanders wants us to spend $2,000,000 to cover an obligation owed by the County??

Will Mike Sanders be willing to walk into the offices of $2,000,000 worth of those City employees and tell them that he’ll be thinking of them when he’s watching a Chiefs game from the fat-cat suite after parking like a rock star? (Check out page 16, Section 7.4.)

The simple fact is that the City of Kansas City owes no money whatsoever under the leases. If anybody wants to claim that we are so obligated, I would ask that they show us the legal documents that back up their claim.

If, on the other hand, they resort to bogus claims like “Kay Barnes promised . . .”, ask them if they really, truly believe that is how government works. Did “Credit Card” Kay Barnes really have the ability to obligate the city with a speech? If you believe that, you really have no idea how the process of government works. If Mark Funkhouser announces in a speech that the City will, without any sort of ordinance or documentation, or signing any contract, give $2,000,000 to me every year forever, because he likes my writing, is the City on the hook?

And don’t let them trot out the old “economic engine” argument, either. Of course there are tangential benefits to having the Chiefs and Royals in town, but that’s true of any employer or tourist attraction. And a lot of those benefits go to Lee’s Summit, Independence, Blue Springs, Liberty and Overland Park. How about if the City of Kansas City matches the tax dollars chipped in by those municipal governments?

Sadly, this is a very difficult budget year. I would love to see the City in a position where it could make a $2,000,000 charitable contribution to help the County live up to its contractual obligations. Especially if we could do that AFTER helping the truly needy in our community, with things like better police protection and codes enforcement. But, really, we cannot do that this year.

Those two millions dollars to not come out of thin air. They represent choices. If we put $2,000,000 into the stadiums, when we are not obligated to do so, we need to take $2,000,000 from somewhere else.

Why should we pay what we do not owe?

Crunch Time for Ethics Commission Selection – Day 82 of the Jackson County Ethics Blackout

Friday, February 27th, 2009

The Jackson County Ethics Selection Committee has set the end of February as an informal target for applications to join the Jackson County Ethics Commission. Fortunately, they have said that they will continue to accept applications until the Commission is filled.

Either way, though, the best time to apply is now. The application form is online, so you can submit it over the weekend.

Technically, the appointments will not be made by the Selection Committee. The time for them to make such appointments according to the Charter has long since lapsed, and the appointments are now in the hands of County Executive Mike Sanders. Unlike the County Legislators, though, Mr. Sanders is smart enough to recognize a hot potato when he sees one, so he has agreed to appoint whomever the Selection Committee chooses. It’s great to see an example of a Jackson County elected official working to make Ethical Home Rule a success instead of a sham.

"But I Know A Change Gonna Come" – Day 67 of the Jackson County Ethics Blackout

Thursday, February 12th, 2009

The title is, of course, a reference to Sam Cooke’s posthumously-released masterpiece. Unfortunately, from what the insiders have told me, a more appropriate selection would have been the Who’s “Won’t Get Fooled Again”. I recently heard from someone who knows a lot about these things that, after a new Ethics Commission is chosen, the legislature will try to make a few non-substantive changes to the code, but will seek to retain their own exemption from local oversight.

No change that continues the exemption from local oversight will be good enough.

Anything else is a sideshow, intended to distract attention from the empty center stage of Jackson County Legislative ethics. Until the Jackson County legislators accept the Charter-mandated oversight of the Jackson County Ethics Commission, the fight will continue.

It’s a foolish maneuver, destined to blow up in their faces. We’re not stupid, and we’re watching. When they try to make the cosmetic changes to the Code, all they will accomplish is to draw attention to their failure to make the real change that people expect. “Bring Ethics Home” is too easy a slogan to counter the legislative preference for hiding their ethical misdeeds behind closed doors in Jefferson City.

Here are five reasons that the Jackson County Legislature’s bogus attempt to ship its dirty laundry out of town just isn’t good enough:

1. The Jackson County Ethics Commission conducts its work in public, while the Missouri Ethics Commission closes its doors. Sunshine is the best governmental disinfectant, while cockroaches prefer the dark.

2. The Jackson County Ethics Commission gets appointed non-politically, while the Missouri Ethics Commission is all gubernatorial appointments divied up by parties and congressional districts.

3. Citizens and local press have the opportunity to watch our local commission, but not everyone can afford to take a field trip to Jefferson City every time one of our legislators pushes his or her luck too far.

4. The MEC has 6 people covering every elected official in the state, from the Governor’s election contributors down to the tiniest municipality’s copier contract. The Jackson County Ethics Commission has 5 people trying to keep up with just our local folks. I put my money on the hometeam.

5. It’s in the freaking Charter!! The Jackson County Charter puts the Jackson County Ethics Commission in charge of investigating ethics allegations involving our local crew of misfits. Why does the Jackson County legislature think it gets to write itself out of the Charter, which has been duly approved by the voters of Jackson County?

There are more reasons I could list, but these 5 ought to suffice for today.

Already, County Executive Mike Sanders and County Prosecutor Jim Kanatzar have undercut the legislature by agreeing to local ethics enforcement. At least some of our elected officials agree that we ought to be able to do our laundry at home, instead of sending it to Jefferson City.

If you’re talking to a Jackson County legislator, and he or she tries to assure you that they are going to make changes to the ethics ordinance in a few months, ask whether those changes will include local ethics enforcement over the Legislature. Really, the next time you see one of them in the grocery store or meeting or coffee shop, ask if they’re willing to go back to local ethics enforcement.

After they finish their answer, you’ll realize that I’m right. And you’ll see that this fight is going to continue long after their cosmetic changes have been made. Folks, it looks like the Jackson County Ethics Blackout won’t end until the majority loses their elections in 2010.

I know that the Jackson County Ethics Blackout is a tiny thing compared to the societal change that Sam Cooke was singing about, but I can’t help but be inspired by his final verse -


There been times that I thought I couldn’t last for long
But now I think I’m able to carry on
It’s been a long, a long time coming
But I know a change gonna come, oh yes it will

Who Will Appoint the Jackson County Ethics Commission? Is it Even Ethical to Serve on it?

Tuesday, January 20th, 2009

Is it ethical to serve on a body which is statutorily prohibited from doing what the County Charter orders it to do? Is it ethical to participate in a sham when your predecessors resigned to expose the sham?

Those questions are probably being pondered as we speak by a few citizens of Jackson County. In fact, it may be that the County is having sufficient trouble finding willing participants that the duty of filling the seats has shifted from the Ethics Commission Selection Board to Mike Sanders, the Jackson County Executive.

According to the relevant Charter provision,

There shall be an ethics commission selection board, which shall appoint all of the appointees to the ethics commission. This board shall consist of the executive director of the Mid-America Regional Council, the dean of the Henry W. Bloc (sic) School of Business and Public Administration at the University of Missouri – Kansas City, and the president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference of Greater Kansas City. Within thirty days of the effective date of this section, the selection board shall appoint five residents of the county to the ethics commission. The commission members shall select their own chairman. Thereafter, within thirty days of the occurrence of a vacancy on the ethics commission, the selection board shall fill the vacancy. If for any reason the ethics commission selection board fails to timely fill any vacancy or position on the ethics commission, the executive shall appoint a qualified person to fill the vacancy or position.

The first ethics commission resignation came in early December, so the selection board is no longer empowered to make the appointment, and the duty falls to Jackson County Executive. I’m not certain of the resignation dates of the others, but I believe they were completed before Christmas (though the Star did not report on the resignations until weeks later). It appears that for at least one, and perhaps all of the commissioners, the ethics commission board has failed to timely fill the vacancy, and now the executive shall appoint a qualified person.

It’s no wonder that the selection board has faced a challenge in trying to fill the Commission. The Charter grants the Ethics Commission the power to hold legislators accountable, while a recent ordinance passed by the Legislators purports to strip that power away.

If a good, ethical citizen wants to take a seat on the Commission, his or her first duty will be to sue the Legislators to reverse their illegal, Charter-violating ordinance exempting themselves from local ethical oversight. If, on the other hand, you agree to simply ignore the Jackson County Charter, you are exposing yourself to clear questions about your ethical judgment and the legitimacy of your role.

Who wants to step into a mess like that?

Jackson County Ethics Fiasco – Making Corruption Easier

Wednesday, January 7th, 2009

Why would the Jackson County Legislature violate the Jackson County Charter, and exempt itself from oversight by the Jackson County Ethics Commission?

That’s a hard question to answer, but one point is crystal clear. The Jackson County Ethics Fiasco orchestrated by Mike Sanders and the Legislature is certainly not designed to improve County government or to make themselves more accountable to voters.

Now, I’m not claiming that the Mike Sanders and the Jackson County Legislature are engaged in rampant corruption. Of course not. I am saying, however, that Mike Sanders and the Jackson County Legislature have just made it easy for themselves to get away with rampant corruption.


Honestly, who among us thinks that a legislative body that has in recent years engaged in actual fisticuffs, and which includes a man convicted of a federal crime, ought to be shielding itself from local ethical oversight?

One of my prized possessions is a copy of the County Charter given to me by Harold Fridkin, one of its authors, and a man I greatly admire. Perhaps I’m just a sentimental sap, but I take that document seriously, and it pains me to see Mike Sanders and the Jackson County Legislature use it as toilet paper, ripping from it the pages that empower the Jackson County Ethics Commission to “receive complaints and conduct investigations” concerning our Legislature. It pains me to read that Mike Sanders, rather than standing up for local ethics enforcement, proposes to solve the problem by amending the charter to gut the ethics commission.

I have the deepest respect for several of the Jackson County legislators, but I am at a complete loss to explain why they would make corruption easier in our county, and refuse to be held to the same ethical standards as other county employees. The state ethics commission will not enforce county ordinances, so they can violate our new ethics code with impunity. Why would they give themselves that option?

Even if they complete their terms with honor, their misdeeds surrounding the Ethics Code will be the root of future scandals. Even if they are not crooks, they will be the ones that enable future crooks.

It ought to bother us that they cannot explain why they choose to exempt themselves from the oversight of the Jackson County Ethics Commission, which is the only body authorized to enforce the ethics code. It ought to bother them, too.

It ought to make them sit for a few minutes and think about whom they are serving with their actions. Future crooks, themselves, or the citizens of Jackson County? And whom were they hoping to serve when they first got involved in public service?

The citizens who drafted the County Charter expected our legislators to submit to the oversight of the Jackson County Ethics Commission. Why, now, is that too much to expect?