The city moved forward last week with a notice of hearing from its Board of Ethics regarding the city manager selling his home through a real estate agent who is a former city councilor and has a business and romantic relationship with a current councilman.
Following its sifting of evidence, the manager, Ron LeBlanc, must respond to a complaint that his actions gave the appearance of a conflict of interest. The hearing is a good next step.
The Board of Ethics dismissed a similar complaint against Councilor Chris Bettin. It also noted that the real estate agent, Christina Rinderle, donated all the proceeds from the sale to charity, although, it said, the timing of her donation only after a Herald article appeared questioning the transaction “served to lend credence to the claim that the transaction was ethically questionable.”
So far, local government seems to be working as it should and we are pleased to contribute our mite. We also want to note, however, that even if one puts the worst or most cynical spin on what has occurred with the sale of LeBlanc’s home, as he is on his way out the Durango door, the city he has managed for 12 years has done well.
It is not just that there have been few scandals of note, or evidence of corruption, but that under LeBlanc’s watch, Durango has continued to grow into the kind of little city that makes almost all of us proud. Everything after that is minor.