Newtown Board of Ethics Meeting
Thursday October 4, 2007
The Newtown Board of Ethics met on Thursday October 4, 2007 at 7:30, in the lower meeting room located at Town Hall South. The meeting was called to order at 7:35 p.m.
PRESENT: Chairman Peter Vanbuskirk, Vice Chair Brian Ochs, Mitch Bolinsky, Steve Sedensky, Neal DeYoung, Sarah Frampton, Mark Streck, one member of press, one member of public Paul Mangiafico of 15 Kent Road Newtown, Ct. 06470.
PUBLIC PARTICIPATION: None
A. Review current status of Board Staffing.
Mr. Vanbuskirk opened discussion to the Board regarding voting in Chair and Vice Chair seats. Mr. Vanbuskirk announced to the Board that Democratic Alternate Mr. Mark Streck has been sworn in as full member to fill the vacancy, additionally that Mr. Neal DeYoung will serve as the Republican Alternate.
B. Election of Officers.
Mr. Sedensky moved to vote in Mr. Vanbuskirk as the Chairman to the Board. Mr. Bolinsky seconded motion. All members were in favor.
Mr. Bolinsky moved to vote in Mr. Ochs as Vice Chairman to the Board. Mr. Sedensky seconded motion. All members were in favor.
C. Set Board Meeting Schedule through end of 2008.
Meetings are to be held each first Thursday on even months. If there is no circumstance to meet on, notice will be sent by regular mail to each Board member, including alternates at least one week prior.
D. Discuss Joe Borst July 2007 letter.
Before discussion began, Mr. Bolinsky excused himself as a voting member of The Board. Mr. DeYoung requested a brief review of the letter as he was not in attendance for the previous meeting. Mr. Vanbuskirk reviewed Mr. Borst’s letter and what the Board had previously discussed. Ms. Frampton brought up to the Board her concern now that the issue and past conduct had been made public, the issue should be given to the Board of Selectman for a final decision on whether or not a conflict of interest exists. Mr. Vanbuskirk responded by addressing the fact that the Board of Ethics responsibility is to respond to formal written requests and requests for an advisory opinion on future behavior. Ms. Frampton reiterated that she feels the decision should still be turned over to the Selectman for the final
Mr. Vanbuskirk stated that based on the fact that technically a written formal complaint and a written formal request for an advisory opinion for future behavior was not received, there is nothing to bas a decision on. Mr. Sedensky agreed that the letter does not read as either a complaint or a request.
Mr. Ochs moved to respond to Mr. Borst’s letter with a letter addressed to him personally explaining the Board’s policy on receiving and making decisions based formal written submissions of complaint and requests for advisory opinions on future behavior. Mr. Sedensky seconded motion. Board members, Mr. Vanbuskirk, Mr. Sedensky, Mr. DeYoung and Mr. Streck were in favor. Ms. Frampton opposed to motion.
Ms. Frampton expressed her opposition in that the Board should look into the matter further as it has now become public knowledge via The Newtown Bee and the final decision should be made by the Board of Selectman. Mr. Sedensky commented that Mr. Borst seems to be requesting an opinion on past behavior, not that of future behavior of which the Board may form an advisory opinion.
Ms. Frampton remained opposed to motion. Mr. Vanbuskirk asked the Board if anyone was in favor of sending the decision on the the Board of Selectmen for conclusion. This motion was not carried, and a letter to be sent to Mr. Borst personally was carried unanimously by all members except for Ms. Frampton.
Mr. Streck added that in his opinion, there may be a possibility of a conflict of interest, while Mr. DeYoung added that there does not seem to be any formal complaint.
Mr. Sedensky moved to adjourn meeting. All were in favor.
Having no further business or items for discussion the meeting adjourned at 8:00 p.m.
Respectfully Submitted, Cayenne Spremullo, Clerk