In the midst of current revelations surrounding contract entanglements, the public has gotten a glimpse of how some of our elected office holders make decisions on ethical conflicts. It appears that many of these decisions were based on WWBD: What Would Brian (Kuhn*) Do? Although, these decisions are legal opinions, they do not represent what is best for the public.
Public service is different; it is a call to serve one’s community. Much of it is thankless duty, but it should not be a call for self enrichment. Because of the demands and temptations in office, service should be accomplished in small doses. There are those that reflect that theses issues involving conflict of interests are only hyped because of today’s climate of what is news. To reference these lapses in ethical judgment against the “current” climate, demonstrates how long the bankrupt system has existed and how engrained these practices have become in our elected bodies.
The notion that the ethics of public service is somehow dependent on the number of officials under criminal scrutiny attempts to lessen the real shock of how rudderless these bodies have become. Elected officials must lead. They cannot be dependent on someone else’s rendering of what is right, or a “gamed” response that they know to be in their best financial interests. To legitimately receive $20,000** to inform contractors when the ribs will be served at The Rendezvous is a stretch, no matter how you chop, pull, or cut it. Sadly, that’s only the appetizer in this mess. WWBD.
* Shelby County Attorney – Brian Khun
**(made in four installments to make it appear legit)