The Fort Worth City Council has taken a long and torturous road toward revising its ethics ordinance, and now it's time to bring the journey to an end.Council members are scheduled to vote Tuesday on the revisions, and they're expected to approve them with some important changes. After another round of public testimony at last week's council meeting, Mayor Betsy Price called the proposed ordinance revisions "fair and balanced."The time and effort spent hearing from the public and receiving explanations from City Attorney Sarah Fullenwider have produced improvements. More are possible before Tuesday's vote.One advancement came in Fullenwider's presentation to the council last week. The language of one revision led several people to believe that meetings of future council-appointed task forces and other advisory bodies would not be subject to the Texas Open Meetings Act.Although Fullenwider and some council members had promised previously that the council would require those meetings to be open and their agendas to be posted publicly in the way prescribed in the open meetings law, it was not until last week's hearing that she suggested a simple way to fulfill that promise.The council can write the requirement for open meetings into the new ethics code, Fullenwider said. Price and council members Dennis Shingleton and Jungus Jordan voiced support for that step.The current proposals have been in the works for more than two years and have been discussed at many public meetings.The council requested a review after a dispute about the role of representatives from the natural gas industry on a council-appointed committee named to design a study of air quality around natural gas wells.Council members have insisted that they need the expert advice of professionals in the areas that advisory groups are asked to review.That's true, but that advice doesn't have to be from full voting membership on the advisory committee. People with known conflicts of interest can have seats on those committees and participate in the discussions, even write individual reports to council members, without having full voting power in the committees' decisions.The council should acknowledge that there is a legitimate issue of public trust when a committee's advice can be changed by the votes of people who have conflicts of interest. Public trust is worth stripping this voting power from the revised ordinance.Finally, the proposed revision that has received perhaps the most public comment is one that would allow someone who is the subject of an ethics complaint to use his or her reasonable compliance with a written opinion from the city attorney, if it is requested before the disputed act, as an "absolute defense" against the complaint.An absolute defense conveys immunity.Ethics reviewers still would hear the complaint. The person who is the subject of the complaint would have to raise the city attorney's opinion as a defense and waive his or her attorney-client privilege so the city attorney could testify.The ethics reviewers would have to decide whether the action cited in the complaint was indeed covered by the city attorney's previously written opinion or went outside its bounds. If the defense is determined to be valid, the reviewers still could deliver an opinion that says the city attorney erred, calling public attention to the problem.This revision is reasonably crafted to allow people covered by the ethics code to rely on guidance from the city attorney, with reasonable public safeguards.