NYPIRG recommends:
Overhauling the state's ethics law for municipalities to include strong conflict of interest provisions and more training.
Applying the same reporting standards on lobbying in municipalities with fewer than 50,000 residents as required in larger ones.
Strengthening the open meetings law to improve public participation and confidence in local government decisions.
Using measures like videotaping, archiving and webcasting meetings to bring local government transparency into the 21st century.
As the state Legislature and Gov. Andrew Cuomo set the agenda for the 2015 session, these are surely worthwhile improvements to consider. While lawmakers and the governor have the state's own ethical loopholes to close as well, that hardly disqualifies them from making sure that local governments get it right.