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Ethics law changes back to drawing board
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Two proposals for changes to how the ethics board is appointed both died for lack of a second at the Commissioners' meeting Tuesday, sending both back to the drawing board.

The two separate proposals, one sponsored by Post 2 Commissioner JaNice Van Ness and the other by board Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Richard Oden, were thought to be so similar by Chief of Staff Gerald Sanders that he recommended he be allowed more time to work with the commissioners to create a compromise draft.

Oden concurred with Sanders' recommendation and recommended deferring the item to a later work session.
"I think there can be some kind of compromise," said Oden.

But Van Ness felt like the discussion had been going on for long enough and wanted a resolution to be made during the regular meeting Tuesday morning.

"I would like to go ahead and finalize this document today," said Van Ness. This has been before us the last several months."

She made the motion to approve her sponsored ordinance amendment which would allow the Rockdale Bar Association, the county commission board and Conyers-Rockdale Chamber of Commerce to each nominated one member to the ethics board.

Her motion didn't receive a second and died on the floor.

Her inclusion of the Conyers-Rockdale Chamber of Commerce would remove the appointment by county employees of a nominee named by the Rockdale Coalition of Homeowners and Civic Associations, which exists in the current law.

It also differs from the proposal sponsored by Oden that proposes one ethics commission member would be appointed by the Rockdale Democratic Party, one by the Rockdale Republican Party and one by the Rockdale Bar Association.

Oden then proceeded to make a motion to defer the item to another meeting. It too died for lack of a second vote.

In order to amend the existing law that passed in 2008, a board member will have to reintroduce a new draft at another work session.

Although the ethics law was passed six years ago, the ethics board has not yet been activated.