By Leslie Parrilla, San Bernardino Sun
Posted: 12/06/14, 9:44 PM PST |

COLTON >> In an effort to create transparency and garner trust from the community, the newly seated City Council passed a series of changes last week to its ethics policy that include prohibiting city employees and relatives of council members from sitting on city commissions and committees.

The proposed changes sparked a lengthy debate with opposing opinions from all sides on numerous issues. In the end, the amendment passed in a 4-to-3 vote with Councilwoman Summer Zamora Jorrin, Councilman Isaac Suchil and Mayor Richard DeLaRosa dissenting.

The amendments to the city’s municipal code on qualifications and eligibility for being appointed to city commissions and committees that prompted the most discussion among the council were preventing relatives and city employees from serving on commissions or committees and limiting the number of business owners to two who can serve on a commission or committee.

“The purpose of the items that are in here is to promote and instill into the council and the commissions a sense of honesty, integrity and transparency,” said Councilman Frank Navarro, who serves on the three-council member Legislative Affairs Subcommittee making the recommended changes.

Colton has historically had an unsavory reputation for providing favors to relatives, Navarro said. Preventing them from serving on commissions and committees is one way to avoid that image from tainting the city again.

“For many years the city of Colton was identified as the city where all relatives work for the city. All relatives are on special committees. All relatives are on commissions. There was a level of nepotism that was going on at that time that kind of put a cloud over our community,” Navarro said.

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