Posted: Friday, November 2, 2012 10:15 am | WTXL.Com
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Next week, the Tallahassee City Commission will take another step of choosing members for its newly formed Ethics Advisory Panel.
The group will examine the various City policies, procedures and practices relating to ethics, financial disclosures and transparency of the government.
The Tallahassee City Commission will be asked to adopt the panel’s bylaws and appoint seven full members and two alternate members at its Wednesday, Nov. 7, meeting,
“It is important for every organization to take the time to review policies and procedures, especially those related to ethics, and make any changes necessary to reflect the community’s and organization’s values,” said Commissioner Andrew Gillum, lead commissioner of the development of the Ethics Advisory Panel. “It is my hope that this panel will help guide the City in continuing to be an organization with a record of best practices that engender citizen confidence in city government.”
The City Treasurer-Clerk’s Office searched for public members to be on the panel from September 21 through October 14. Twenty-three people submitted applications to serve on the panel.
After reviewing the submissions, the following list of applicants will be recommended to the City Commission to serve as full and alternate members. Martha Barnett was previously approved by the City Commission to chair the panel.
Martha Barnett, Chair – Barnett is a partner in the law firm of Holland & Knight. Her primary areas of practice are administrative, governmental law and public policy. She served as president of the American Bar Association in 2000-2001 and as Chair of the Florida Commission on Ethics in 1986 -1987.
Justice Harry Lee Anstead – Justice Anstead is the retired Chief Justice of the Florida Supreme Court. His career includes service as Supreme Court Justice (1994-2009), Appeals Court Chief Judge (1977-1994) and trial and appellate lawyer (1964-1977).
John Calhoun – Calhoun is currently the Director of the Office of Ombudsman and Public Services at the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and is a Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy Reserve.
Reverend Brant Copeland – Rev. Copeland is currently the pastor and Head of Staff at First Presbyterian Church, located at 110 North Adams Street.
Lila A. Jaber – Jaber is an attorney with the Gunster law firm. Her past experience includes service as a staff attorney with the Florida Public Service Commission (PSC), and she was twice appointed by Gov. Bush to serve as a member of the PSC.
Joseph Landers Jr. – Landers is a graduate of Stetson Law and a former state employee who served as chief cabinet aide to Gov. Ruben Askew. Other posts included service as Secretary of the Department of Environmental Regulation and Director of the Florida Department of Natural Resources.
Andrea Valencia Nelson – Nelson is an attorney and president of the Nelson Law Firm, PLC. She was formerly employed with the Florida Department of Transportation, Tallahassee Community College, Office of the State Attorney – Sixth Judicial District, and was an intern at the Gwinnett County, Georgia Solicitor’s Office.
D. Stephen Kahn – Kahn is currently a self-employed attorney. He previously served as an ethics advisor to the Florida Senate from 1980-2007, serving as lead staff during the implementation of the current Gift Ban legislation (Senate Bill 6B). Kahn also performed ethics investigations on behalf of the Florida Senate, while serving as the Senate General Counsel.
Marilynn Wills – Wills is a retired educator and member of the League of Women Voters since 1968, serving several terms as President of the Tallahassee league. She also served on the Leon County Charter Review Committee.
After they’re approved by the City Commission, the Ethics Advisory Panel is scheduled to have their first meeting on Thursday, November 8, at 11 a.m. in City Hall. The meeting will be open to the public. However, no public comment will be taken, due to the meeting is intended to address organizational matters such as the general work plan and the time, frequency and format for future meetings. Commissioner Gillum will provide introductory remarks; however, remaining content of this and future meetings will be directed by the members of the advisory panel.
For more information, contact the City Treasurer-Clerk’s office at 850-891-8130.