Mayor Candidate Jamison Challenges Mayor On Ethics Issue
Mayoral Candidate Greg Jamison threw down a gauntlet at Mayor Huether's feet by creating and signing the "Mayor Integrity Trust Pledge" today(Tuesday)
According the media release:
"The signing of the Mayor Integrity Trust Pledge signify to all the people of Sioux Falls that Jamison will not make personal investments into land or any other business where his decisions as mayor could give him an unfair advantage to make money.
“As Mayor, I pledge to all the people of Sioux Falls, that while in office I or my spouse will not be an investor in any real estate development or make other business investments that require oversight and approval by the City Council and/or city employees who are under my direct control. I disclose any and all investments that are currently in violation of this pledge.” said Jamison.
Jamison wants all the people of Sioux Falls to know that he does not personally have land investments as seen on his financial interest statement filed Monday. Recently, Mike Huether was quoted in the December 15, 2013 Argus Leader stating, “Come on, you’re telling me that Mayor Dave Munson, Mayor Gary Hanson, Mayor Rick Knobe or any of the mayors before me have never invested in real estate while in office?” As Jonathan Ellis reported, none of the mayors mentioned had any land investments. Gary Hanson noted, “I turned down those simply because it would only appear to be an impropriety on my part. Right now I know that a couple of those folks have become millionaires in those investments that I chose not to be an investor.”
Jamison had this to say about signing the pledge, “Nothing the mayor does should create any question as to the integrity of his office. The mayor should not have an unfair advantage to make money from his service to Sioux Falls. In the end it all comes down to trust. Having direct control over city employees and having land development deals violates the trust voters have instilled in you. That is why I’m signing this pledge to all the people of Sioux Falls. We need to restore integrity and trust to the mayor’s office.” Jamison invites Mike Huether to join him in signing the pledge to disclose any conflicted investment and not make investments that the office of mayor has direct influence over."
The creating and signing of the pledge points to what some believe is a weakness in Mayor Huether's character. It will resonate with some voters. As a former Mayor, I admit I was a little surprised at Mayor Huether's quote in the paper assuming that all former Mayors had done what he did. During my term, I chose not to invest in projects within our area, because I didn't want the "appearance of an impropriety." The city's ethics rules are muddy on this issue. It may be time for the council to clear them up for the voters who entrust the Mayor and Council with the management of city resources and growth.