City of San Antonio

Ethics Review Board 

Annual Report - 2002

City Ordinance 88874 approved on November 19, 1998, created the Ethics Review Board, which met for the first time on April 30th, 1999. In the year 2002, the Board met as a body ten times. In addition, various subcommittees/panels met numerous times. There were a total of nine Determinations/Opinions, and two Advisory Opinions rendered by the Board. The City Attorney’s office rendered twelve Advisory Opinions. (The complete text of each Determination and/or Opinion can be obtained from the Office of the City Clerk; the extracts provided in the attachments to this document are for general information purposes only). During 2002, there were a total of nineteen registered lobbyists. A list – current as of December 31st, 2002 – has been provided by the City Clerk.

The members of the Board are confident that the Code is a positive addition to our City. But in order for the Code to make a positive contribution, it must continue to grow and evolve. The implementation of the Ethics Code was only the first step in this ongoing process. As required by our charter, the Board sent a number of proposed changes to the Code to the City Council for its consideration and adoption as part of our 2000 annual report. On May 24, 2001 Council adopted Ordinance No. 93998 incorporating those changes. The Board continued to work with the City Council and the members of its Ethics Subcommittee last year on additional amendments. Although consensus was reached on these proposed changes, no formal action was taken to adopt them. In part, this may have been caused by a desire on the part of Council to wait for the results/report of the Mayor’s Committee on Integrity and Trust in Local Government. The Ethics Review Board met with the Mayor’s committee and provided comment on that portion of the committee’s final report addressing the Ethics Code and our board. The committee was apprised of the ongoing effort to update the Code and given a list of those proposed changes. 

As a result, the recommendations of the committee for changes to the Code and the recommendations already under consideration complement one another and are not in conflict or redundant. The changes that have been coordinated between the Council’s Ethics Subcommittee and the Ethics Review Board are therefore included in this report  as Proposed Amendments, and the Board recommends that they be approved and incorporated into the Code. This can be done independently or in conjunction with incorporating changes recommended by the Mayor’s commission, but it should be done expeditiously. The Board has interpreted the Code for four years now. Additional experience may demonstrate the need for other changes to the Code or our procedures, and this Board resolves that it will act quickly to remedy any perceived problems with the Code. We encourage the Council to speak with us should it have any proposed modifications or amendments to the Ethics Code. The Mayor’s Committee on Integrity and Trust in Local Government stated that they found the Ethics Code to be a “useful document in its present form;” the Ethics Review Board agrees. We remain optimistic that the Code and the ethics review process will create affirmative change in city governance and in our citizens' perception of the same.

The Ethics Review Board Members - 2002

The following persons were confirmed by the City Council to serve on the Ethics Review Board for the terms indicated.

Name Appointed by Date Appointed Date Reappointed Date Term Expires
Michael S. Ariens Mayor Mar. 11, 1999 Mar. 30, 2000 Feb. 21, 2002
Ross A. Rodriguez District 1 Feb. 22, 2001   Feb. 21, 2003
August Stephen Johnson District 2 Mar. 22, 2001   Feb. 21, 2003
Steven G. Gengenbacher District 3  Feb. 07, 2002   Feb. 21, 2004
David de la Garza District 4 Dec. 12, 2002   Feb. 21, 2005
Reynaldo L. Diaz, Jr. District 5 Jan. 31, 2002   Feb. 21 2004
Edgar L. Zepeda District 6 Apr. 29, 1999 Jun. 27, 2002 Feb. 21, 2004
Elizabeth Benavides Melson District 7 Apr. 01, 1999 Feb. 28, 2002 Feb. 21, 2004
Benjamin F. Youngblood III** District 8 Apr. 01, 1999 Feb. 01, 2001 Feb. 21, 2003
Arthur J. Downey* District 9 Feb. 11, 1999 Aug. 01, 2002 Feb. 21, 2004
Loren G. Wood District 10 Aug. 15, 2002   Feb. 21, 2003
* Chair        
** Vice-Chair        

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