Oxymoron of the week: Ethics in Towson

The news: Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz unveiled a package of proposed ethics laws that would strengthen conflict of interest provisions, increase transparency and create penalties for those who fail to comply. Our take: Baltimore County government has struggled to shed the image of corruption dating back to the days of Spiro Agnew and Dale Anderson -- and recent scandals, most recently involving Councilman Kenneth N. Oliver, don't help. Kamenetz's ideas, like posting financial disclosure statements on the Internet, forbidding county officials from taking gifts from those they do business with, or creating penalties for failing to file ethics forms on time, should not be revolutionary. Unfortunately, in Maryland, they are. Readers respond: Mr. Kamenetz deserves credit for these efforts to bring better ethical standards to gvoernment. At time when trust in all levels of government is low, the County Executive has done the right thing and is trying hard to restore faith in local government. --HelpUSa
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