Here we go again as the law of unintended consequences strikes.
During a combined Lauderhill and county ground breaking ceremony for a new library, the ethics code required that County Commissioner Dale Holness forego a simple bottle of water.
It was a hot day.
What makes it notable is that he bottle of water in question was provided by the City of Lauderhill.
Commissioner Holness is a resident of Lauderhill, and a portion of his own taxes paid for that bottle of water.
Look at it another way; Holness paid for that particular bottle of water he was prevented from accepting.
But the code is the law as approved by the voters last November.
Although I agree with most of the ethics code, the strictness of the gift ban is absolutely ridiculous.
State and city workers are limited to a “gift” of $25 while state law requires reporting of any amount over that limit (meaning even a single penny over.)
Statewide, elected officials are limited to $100 before reporting.
Except of course, in Broward County where there’s not a limit, but a ban. Zero. Zilch. Nada.
Being held to a higher standard is a good thing.
But there is a real difference between a good thing and ridiculous.
Now let’s really get ridiculous:
One thing that Commissioner Holness could have done was to stop at the nearest 7-11 and purchase a bottle of water, and then turn in the receipt as a legitimate expense.
Legal and appropriate.
And of course, every bit as ridiculous as the ban on accepting that bottle of water in the first place.