San Benito approve ethics ordinance for city officials

SAN BENITO – For years, residents have called for a so-called “ethics ordinance.”

City commissioners this week approved the ordinance prohibiting city officials from using their office for personal gain.

“We know it. We know we cannot use our positions for personal gain and we can’t use our executive power to influence anyone,” Mayor Celeste Sanchez said today. “Now, having it in writing and on the books, there’s no excuse for anyone to say they didn’t know.”

When he took office in 2015, Commissioner Esteban Rodriguez pushed to put the ordinance on the books.

“It’s a long time coming,” Rodriguez said of the new ordinance. “Anyone who works for the city has to follow the rules. That’s what an ethics ordinance does.”

City Manager Manuel De La Rosa said he proposed placing the ordinance on the books.

“A city official may not use his or her official position to unfairly advance or impede personal interests by granting or securing or by attempting to grant or secure, for any person (including himself or herself) any form of special consideration, treatment, exemption, or advantage beyond that which is lawfully available to every other person or organization,” the ordinance states.

For more on this story read Saturday’s Valley Morning Star.