While Leslie Knope glimpsed the promised kingdom of the mayor's office, helping with a possum hunt that actually symbolized the ethical dilemmas of insiderism, Ron and Mark were caught in their own battle of friendship and favoritism versus workplace responsibility.
Expecting Mark would sign-off on the plans for a bigger, better man-cave and ignore the extreme city code violations because of mutual dudeness, the stubbornly proud Ron tried his best to avoid any improvements in his workshop. Torn between two lovers, bureaucracy and the bro-code, Mark refused to budge, but found a compromise that combined the two without risking either.
A show all about the ineptness of local government (really, any level of government), Parks and Recreation manages to infuse the office inefficiencies with the personal complications involved when by-the-books meets mutual backscratching. Defining the rights of rapport within the office is difficult; when favors are traded and friendships established to make everyone's life easier, it calls into question the morality of the coworkers. It would have been reprehensible and irresponsible of Mark if he had let Ron have his way, but it's human nature to expect a friend to help a brother out. The only way to avoid the inevitable inner turmoil is to do what Mark did, to make a simple offer of amity and hope for the same (and maybe even a canoe) in return.