Fort Worth City Council members seemed genuinely surprised last week when proposed revisions to their ethics code ran into a buzz saw of public opposition.They should have known better. Even though the proposed revisions have been discussed several times at open meetings of the Ethics Review Committee, were presented informally to the council at its Nov. 12 meeting and have been posted on the city's website, many issues simply don't draw attention until the finality of a council vote is near.Wisely, the council has decided to put off a decision until Dec. 18. Members are scheduled to talk about the changes and hear more public input during their meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday.Residents who have expressed alarm about the proposals have every reason to do so, though some council members say they're just trying to do the right thing. This discussion is about the core document that, outside of flatly criminal acts, describes the difference between right and wrong behavior by council members, city staffers and appointees to city boards, commissions and task forces.There are troubling issues to be faced. One proposal would deliver absolute immunity to a person who acts in reasonable compliance with a written opinion from the city attorney saying a certain action would not violate the ethics code.Full immunity is a big step, and it hands a lot of new power to the city attorney. It deserves full, open council discussion.Another provision would allow people with a clear conflict of interest to be given full voting power on task forces that advise the council -- like when natural gas industry representatives sat on a committee to plan a study of air quality around gas wells.Council members should get over their seeming shock and dismay over their actions being questioned on this. If they're as intent on openness and transparency as they say, all they need to do is listen to the concerns of their constituents, discuss them and deal with them openly and transparently.