Shall we call it David’s Law?
Contra Costa County supervisors Federal Glover and John Gioia are recommending a ban on the appointment of supervisors’ relatives to board-appointed panels. (See my colleague Matthias Gafni’s story here.)
The David is David Piepho, soon-to-be-former Discovery Bay Community Services District member and husband to Supervisor Mary Nejedly Piepho.
David sought — unsuccessfully, as it turned out — a board appointment to a small cemetery district board in East Contra Costa County, a post that would have allowed him to retain his post on the powerful Local Agency Formation Commission.
Given the highly charged political atmosphere around this appointment, it was highly unlikely that Mary Piepho’s colleagues on the board would have ever appointed her husband to the cemetery district.
And whether one agrees or disagrees with the wildly disparate assessments of David Piepho’s value as a public servant, it may seem unfair to penalize the relative of an elected official who wants a role in public service.
But as my mom used to say, “Life is not fair.”
On balance, a ban on the appointment of supervisors’ relatives to county boards is a good thing.
Government should and must take extraordinary care to avoid the appearance of favoritism. There are many, many ways for the relatives of supervisors to serve one’s community beyond that of a county board seat.