Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Bad Platform To Run On

Even for Baraboo, this is a bad example for a candidate.
During an interview with the detective on Feb. 9, Cone admitted
shoplifting cigars from the humidor on Jan. 15, 16 and 23 and Feb. 6, the
documents state.

Monday afternoon, Cone said he was guilty. He said he had been
stealing the cigars, then selling them to friends to raise $5 or $10 to keep gas
in his car.

"Yeah," he said. "I don't smoke, that's what the stupid part is."

Cone said he had back surgery in April and has not been able to
return to work because the healing process is not going very well.

Cone said he plans to continue his role as District 4 Baraboo City
Council member and will continue as a candidate for mayor in the April 7 general

"I can't quit now," he said, "Even though I've done stupid

Baraboo has had a tough time keeping Mayors lately. Russ Will resigned abruptly in August, citing health reasons. It turns out that the symptoms were, most likely, self-administered. Let's hope that Baraboo can get their act together. Interim Mayor, and former losing candidate, Pat Liston has an idea; a code of conduct for public officials.
"I know it's hard to believe, but occasionally elected officials and
appointed officials (fail to show) good conduct," he said. "My concern now is,
because we do have an ordinance on ethics, basically the ethics code is pretty,
in my opinion, toothless, because it only speaks to illegality."

The ordinance is an eight page draft. That's a far cry from the 135 or so words of the Decalogue but it's a start.


m braunschweig said...


At first glance I am in disagreement to a code of conduct for elected officials. I say that for a few reasons but mostly because people, regardless of their elected position or lack thereof, in a community should act in accordance with the everyday laws and community morals that are in place. A separate set of rules for a specific set of people, although needed in some areas (i.e. doctors, lawyers and other specialized areas of experts in which people rely on not as peers), should not apply to a group of people that are supposed to represent everyone within their constituency.

In the case you raise at hand a code of conduct may not have any deterrent to criminal activity. The criminal code certainly did not.

At the end of the day elected officials at any level and in any capacity must act within a certain set of acceptable ways because they will always be accountable for their actions, good and bad, to the voters.

Have a great day.

Mason Braunschweig
Evansville City Council

grumps said...

Mason, Baraboo has an ethics code that only, in Liston's words, "deals with illegality." I'm wondering what he can say in eight more pages beyond, "Don't be a dick."

If you need a document to tell your Mayor not to show up drunk for meetings and to tell your alders to not steal from the constituents (although he was outside his ward) you may have bigger problems than a code of conduct is going to cover.