To the Editor:
In 2015, the Independent Party submitted a revised Code of Ethics to the Republican-controlled Town Council. We proposed that the current Ethics Subcommittee, made up only of Town Council members, become a stand-alone commission. To this day, the majority party on the Town Council insists their process works fine: that its hand-picked subcommittee can be both judge and jury in accepting, reviewing and determining outcomes when the Code of Ethics is violated.
Since the Town Council appoints people to serve on boards and commissions (with never a seat offered to unaffiliated voters) here’s what happens. An ethics complaint is submitted to the Town Council. Their subcommittee decides whether Town Council members or people they appointed have violated the Code of Ethics. No surprise the Town Council has never found a violation of the Code.
The Independent Party proposed then, and continues to push for, a non-partisan Ethics Commission designed to eradicate creeping cronyism. We refuse to seat on a new Ethics Commission any person who within two years had served as an elected or appointed town official. We require that appointees to boards and commissions certify that they comply with the Code of Ethics before they begin their term, and once appointed they must re-certify this statement. And, we prohibit contractors and developers from serving on Planning and Zoning and then doing work for the applicants on the projects P&Z approved.
The Town Council’s majority invites cronyism in rejecting a stand-alone Ethics Commission the voters can trust. We voters are tired of the shenanigans and the disrespect of insiders. We want an honest and open government where people are held accountable.
Please join me in voting for all the Independent Party candidates (Line C) on November 2.