Rochester City Council Member Michael Wojcik reports on his Vote Wojcik blog that the city's Ethical Practices Board has come out with an opinion on his concerns about the Rochester Area Builders' representative on the Heart of the City task force.
Here's the link to his blog -- we'll get a story today, but here's the top of what he says about it:
"Good to see such a strong decision coming from the Ethical Practices Board. I consider this decision a win for good government and the tax paying public.
- I’m glad I asked the question, a literal reading of the ethics ordinance did find a conflict of interest.
- The RAB Paid Lobbyist may sit on the Heart of the City Board.
- The RAB Paid Lobbyist may not participate in or vote on items that would benefit ANY of the local companies he is paid to represent."
So -- the Rochester Area Builder's public affairs director, Taylor Ridderbusch, can serve on the Heart of the City task force, which was the heart of Wojcik's argument when the topic first came up. Not sure how that's a win. Ridderbusch, who also is a registered lobbyist, has to recuse himself from discussion or voting on items that would benefit his constituents, etc. -- which is common sense and you would think that's par for the course for how the task force would operate.
As the Post-Bulletin's Answer Man noted a few weeks ago, just about everyone on that Heart of the City committee has potential conflicts of interest, so we'll see how this all works. On a fast reading of the board's opinion, that conflict of interest material isn't just related to Ridderbusch.
Again, we'll have a full story on this, but the board's opinion, which holds no legal force, riffs at the end on how the city should "re-examine the overall method" for appointing people to boards, committees and commissions."
I don't believe that was part of Wojcik's request for an opinion.