City of San Antonio, Texas

 

Ethics Advisory Opinion No. 33

 

September 14, 1999

Issued By: City Attorney’s Office

 

Whether a City Councilmember’s Administrative Aide may serve as a member of the Greater Kelly Development Corporation.

 

The City Clerk’s Office has asked whether a City Councilmember’s Administrative Aide may serve as a member of the Greater Kelly Development Corporation. The following facts are presented:

 

The Greater Kelly Development Corporation ("GKDC") is responsible for overseeing the redevelopment of Kelly Air Force Base as it moves from public operation to private ownership. The GKDC is comprised of eleven members appointed by the City Council to serve for a term of two (2) years. To that end, a member of the City Council has nominated his Administrative Aide to serve on the GKDC. The contract between the City and the Administrative Aide began in June, 1999, and runs through September 30, 1999.

 

The issue is whether a City Councilmember’s Administrative Aide may serve as a member of the GKDC given his position. Part A. Section 2. of the Code of Ethics[1] states that an "official" includes, among others, "members of all boards, commissions (except the Youth Commission whose members are minors), committees, and other bodies created by the City Council pursuant to federal or state law or City ordinance, including entities that may be advisory only in nature..." Should the Administrative Aide be appointed by the City Council to serve on the GKDC, he would be a City official, and as such, would be required to follow the standards of conduct as set out in the Code.

 

Prohibited Financial Interest in Contract. Part B, Section 10[2] prohibits City officers from having a financial interest in a contract with the City or its agencies. Under this section, a City officer includes, among others, "members of any board or commission which is more than advisory in function." The GKDC is such a commission, and therefore, members of this Corporation are City officers for the purposes of this section.

 

To be in violation of this section, the City officer must have a financial interest in a contract with the City. A financial interest, includes, but is not limited to, being a party to a City contract. Because aides to City Councilmembers are under contract with the City to provide administrative services, the requisite financial interest is met. Therefore, a violation of this section would be found if a member of the GKDC also serves as an administrative aide. However, if the contract for administrative services is not renewed, the individual may serve as a member of the GKDC provided such board membership is subsequent to the termination of his contract.

 

 

SUMMARY

 

A City Councilmember’s Administrative Aide may not serve as a member of the Greater Kelly Development Corporation given his position with the City. Should the Administrative Aide be appointed to the GKDC, the Aide would be a City officer and a party to a City contract, a circumstance prohibited by the Ethics Code of the City of San Antonio. However, he may serve if the contract for administrative services is not renewed and membership is subsequent to the termination of his contract.

 

 

 

FRANK J. GARZA

City Attorney



[1]   Currently codified in Ethics Code Section 2-42

[2]   Currently codified in Ethics Code Section 2-52