Last week, Council had an opportunity to pass a package of ethics bills, some of which we liked, and one of which we didn't -- a proposal to lift a longstanding ban on political activity by city employees. We wrote at the time that Council shouldn't pass the bill, and really shouldn't pass it when all eyes were on the budget.
Council, to its credit, did not pass the bill last Thursday. And now it looks like it may be willing to rethink its approach to the issue, Bob Warner reports:
City Council members Bill Green and Marian Tasco are sending a delegation to the city Board of Ethics, looking for a way to ease political restrictions on city employees without changing the City Charter.
The mission could defuse a dispute that has lined up Mayor Nutter and the city's most influential political-reform groups against a Council proposal that would let Council set the rules for political activity by city workers.
It is true that these rules could stand some degree of re-thinking, especially in regards to the distinction they draw between political activity and political expression (see Bob's piece for the details). Maybe this is the right approach to throwing out the bathwater without the baby.