• 54°

Letter: Elected officials should be more transparent

Why aren’t candidates for local municipal offices required to fill out the N.C. State Ethics Commission’s statement of economic interest disclosure forms?

It should be a common-sense move by the General Assembly to extend this requirement to local municipal officeholders. Local officeholders make the financial decisions that are most likely to impact our day-to-day lives. This disclosure includes questions not only about a person’s business interests, sources of income, and real property holdings but it also requires the disclosure of any interests held by their immediate family.

Almost every state officeholder, from District Court judges to General Assembly members themselves, must complete and submit this disclosure. In addition to state officeholders, many other public employees, members of state boards, and even the trustees of public colleges must file a statement with the commission.

So why not local officeholders? Under N.C. law, local officeholders must go through biannual ethics training just like their state counterparts. This training includes a component regarding conflicts of interest. Yet the public is left in the dark about potential conflicts because local officeholders are not required to file a statement.

In the past, rumors have swirled in this community regarding favorable contracts and deals for the friends and family of local officials or that officials themselves were personally benefiting from their position. While we should not give credence to these rumors absent facts to the contrary, the public trust would be better served by requiring full transparency upfront.

In absence of state law, perhaps all the local officeholders should voluntarily fill out statements of economic interest disclosure forms. That way, members of our community will have greater trust in the honesty and transparency of our local government.

— Kenneth Stutts

Salisbury

Comments

High School

South’s Cox, East’s Burrage reach NCHSAA wrestling finals

High School

High school basketball: SPC schedule for Saturday

High School

High school basketball: Glenn wins CPC titles

High School

High school basketball: YVC schedule for Saturday

High School

High school basketball: CCC boys championship

High School

High school basketball: Salisbury boys win game for third in CCC

High School

High school basketball: Salisbury girls win tournament

High School

Carson girls top West Rowan for NPC Tournament crown

High School

Falcons fight, beat top-seeded Hounds for NPC title

High School

NCHSAA state wrestling tournament gets underway

Business

Wells Fargo to pay $3 billion to resolve probes into fake accounts

Education

RSVP to attend Hood Theological Seminary symposium in March

Nation/World

McConnell-linked group funding ads to help North Carolina Democrat

Local

Council executive says local scouting won’t be affected by bankruptcy

Columns

Doug Creamer: God our Healer

Lifestyle

Victory 45: Commemorating the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II

Columns

David Freeze: Gotta Run

Sports

Player reps not voting on NFL labor deal; more talks Tuesday

Crime

Blotter: Two arrested, charged after domestic assault in vehicle

Kannapolis

Kannapolis mayor appointed to new statewide committee

Check this out

Rowan weather: Warming up a bit

Local

Photos: Weather sprinkles Rowan County with snow

Sports

Monk, Bridges lead Hornets over cold-shooting Bulls, 103-93

Crime

Search warrant: Cohen shown on surveillance video at time of fire