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Are you ethically challenged?

Are you ethically challenged?

  • I do whatever they tell me to do.

    Votes: 2 11.1%
  • I strictly follow the AICP code of ethics.

    Votes: 6 33.3%
  • I operate in the "gray" zone a lot.

    Votes: 1 5.6%
  • I won't bend the rules for engineers/planners who tick me off.

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • I play it case by case.

    Votes: 7 38.9%
  • Other, explained below.

    Votes: 2 11.1%

  • Total voters
    18
  • Poll closed .

Zoning Goddess

Cyburbian
Messages
13,853
Points
39
Ok, some time ago we sent a Master Plan amendment to the state after recommending denial, and our Board approved it. When the state said "NO!", staff was visited by the County attorney who told us to change our opinion. We said no and thank goodness the Planning director backed us up. How about you?
 

Chet

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
10,624
Points
34
The County's attorney did that? What a schmuck!

We play it pretty strict to the code of ethics. I've had to present them to elected officials on more than one occassion in recent months. My stock response these days is, "Dont ask me to bend the rules here, you're the one with the authority the change them. If its that important to you, then change them!"
 

Repo Man

Cyburbian
Messages
2,550
Points
25
Most of the Code is common sense but there are a few parts that are somewhat unrealistic. For example the Code says: "A planner must strive to expand choice and opportunity for all persons, recognizing a special responsibility to plan for the needs of disadvantaged groups and persons, and must urge the alteration of policies, institutions and decisions which oppose such needs."

While this is well intentioned, it does not take politics into consideration. If something is politically unpopular and a planner pushes for it, they could be putting their job at risk. While I would probably quit if I was instructed to do something unethical, there is definitly a gray area.
 

donk

Cyburbian
Messages
6,970
Points
30
I play it case by case. There are some items I will not bend on and others that I realize need to be bent because the system as presented does not work.

items I won't bend on on ones that will effect the long term use of a property (ie subdivision, permanent building location) or ones that have a probability of causing danger to people or the environment (ie well location, lot size and septics, coastal/wetlands).

items that need some bending and flexibility, within the ever popular "general intent of the plan", include number of parking spaces, height of buildings, height of fences and the sort of thing that you can measure "creatively". But I always look at the "general intent" of the plan.

As soon as someone asks me to ignore the rules or cheat the answer is pretty much no, if they let me look and see what I can do to help them out then the answer is maybe.
 

Chet

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
10,624
Points
34
Mike D. said:
I disturb wetlands and cut down trees whenever possible ;)
Isn't that the Monty Python song that culminates with you wearing a dress and high heels?
 

donk

Cyburbian
Messages
6,970
Points
30
Ethics is a topic that fascinates me. I reviewed the AICP Code of Conduct and Ethics and the CIP Code of Conduct and see little difference ethically between play it by ear vs adhere strictly to the code of ethics.

I also tend to like Mastiff's sentiment of standing by his own ethics firmly. There are things that I could care less about and then there are things that I'll go down with the ship for.
 

H

Cyburbian
Messages
2,850
Points
24
Unfortunately, from my angle it appears that any and every project or rezone that does or does not happen in my area is 100% political and there is ALWAYS an agenda behind it. It seems all “ethics” fly out the window when territorial disputes, $$s and votes are at stake. This is not always “bad” because if voters speak up, they will many times be listened to. Unfortunately they don’t have backgrounds in planning and don’t always see the big picture. But, we have been through that on another post before.

Planning is usually used as the background support for a case one way or the other. I work for a private firm and we are hired to “help” our clients, witch usually leads to mitigation and works out for the best (in planning terms, considering what would happen without FLA’s strong planning regs.). Sometimes the client is a private developer and sometimes they are a government entity. We are there to speak up about the project in regards to planning, but if the client does not agree we must proceed since we are the “help” and they are the “boss”.

I have had to remove myself from a project once because CERTAIN PEOPLE WANT TO PAVE OVER THE ENTIRE PLANET and this INFURIATES me. Some people will not listen to “reason” or god forbid “change” standard procedure. You can probably guess who the client was.

Are ya’lls areas the same or similar when it comes to the political district battles and pure lack of cooperation?? Or is this an unfortunate South Fla. thing?
 

michaelskis

Cyburbian
Messages
19,473
Points
44
Huston said:
Unfortunately, from my angle it appears that any and every project or rezone that does or does not happen in my area is 100% political and there is ALWAYS an agenda behind it.

I can relate to that. The worst part about it is that the person with the most polictical power... is the one with the most money.

I try to follow the APA ethics, but all I can do is recomend to council... they think, "Oh, he is just a planner, but "Mr. B" has all this money, and is trying to make this a better place. (even though it is makeing is worse)
 

donk

Cyburbian
Messages
6,970
Points
30
Don't forget it is our jobs to make decisions and recomendations within the realm of our professional ethics and the documents we work in. For politicians it is there choice to make decisions in an ethical way or a politically expedient manner. Sometimes these match, others they don't. We get judged everyday and our decisions can get us fired immediately, politicians get examined only every 3-5 years.
 
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