Discussion of Mayor Dave's biking trip to Europe will apparently continue well into the summer, if Brenda Konkel has anything to do with it. Konkel sent a letter to the city Ethics Board, which includes a discussion of various ethics issues, including the mayor's April Tour d'Europe with Kathleen Falk and various bicycle advocates. The board delayed discussion of the letter until July.
After a couple opening barbs directed at the mayor, Konkel asks why the Cieslewicz's trip, which was funded by Bikes Belong, a consortium of bike makers who advocate for bike-friendly public policy, was not prohibited under city ethics rules. She points out that alders are regularly instructed to turn down offers from business interests, including food and drink, as well as transportation.
The city attorney's response seems to indicate that if the trip is determined to be "for the benefit of the city," and is not funded by lobbyists or businesses that employ city-registered lobbyists, it is OK. Granted, that is my interpretation after many, many minutes of brow-furrowed reading.
More interesting in Konkel's letter was the discussion of other ethical dilemmas.
For instance, she claims that alders who serve on the boards of non-profits are required to resign when they are elected. May responds that this is not law and he has never heard of such a thing.
Similarly, Konkel asks whether alders or committee members who sit on the board of a non-profit that has taken a position on an issue must recuse themselves when the issue comes up before the Council. I would say that if the position on the board is a paid one, then recusal might be in order. However, if their position is a volunteer one, than there seems to be little reason to make them abstain from voting. Sure, the members of that organization will probably influence their vote, but that is not fundamentally different than an alder's political party influencing his/her vote (even though alders are technically non-partisan).