Ethics rule spurs more volunteers to resign


This city has become at least the second in Oregon to lose its planning commission because of a new financial disclosure law.

Four of the panel's seven members resigned because of a state law that requires more public officials &

including unpaid, small-town volunteers &

to submit a statement of their economic interests to the Oregon Government Ethics Commission, The (Dalles) Chronicle reported.

The resignations left the commission without a quorum. Mayor Denny Ross said the City Council will take over the commission's duties.

The entire commission for the city of Elgin, north of La Grande, resigned earlier this month for the same reason.

The statements, due April 15, must identify the source of income for the officeholder, their relatives or member of their household &

anything above $1,000, though not the specific amount. The statements also address property holdings, shared business with lobbyists, honoraria and certain types of debt and investments.

Ross complained that the state legislators made a "sweeping" rule change that hurts small towns. He said the rules provide an extra layer of bureaucracy and expose more information to the public without adequate protection.

"It's a slap in the face" to the integrity of volunteers, Ross said. He added that the ethics rule isn't necessary in a small town, where "everyone knows what's going on."

Ross has written a letter to state Rep. John Huffman, R-The Dalles, and plans to forward a summary of the resignation letters to the ethics commission. Ross said it took two months to find the last volunteer for the commission and he has no confidence he can fill four vacancies.


Information from: The Dalles Chronicle,

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