The Board of Ethics held a Meeting on Thursday, October 3, 2013 at 7:00 pm in Conference Room #3 in the Newtown Municipal Center, 3 Primrose Street, Newtown, Connecticut
Present: Suzanne Copp, Linda Dixon, Addie Sandler, James Stringer, Jacqueline Villa, Ronald Wilcox. Absent: Neal DeYoung and Laurie Kilchevsky.
Chairman Wilcox called the meeting to order at 7:12 p.m.
Board of Ethics Annual Report – Mr. Wilcox asked the members to review the board’s annual report. Ms. Sandler motioned to accept the annual report as written. Mr. Stringer seconded the motion. All were in favor.
Board of Ethics §27-9 – Mr. Wilcox opened discussion about §27-9 of the Board of Ethics “Disclosure of Holdings and Associates”. It was noted that the purpose of this requirement is to avoid potential conflicts of interest. Mr. Wilcox will ask the Town Clerk if this procedure has been in place. Ms. Copp motioned to accept this proposal. Ms. Villa seconded the motion and all were in favor.
Complaint Procedures – Mr. Wilcox opened discussion about protocols and procedures regarding complaints brought to the board’s attention - or to an individual board member’s attention. If board members are approached and are asked for advice, it is advised to remain neutral and that it be suggested that the individual review the Town Charter and the Code of Ethics.
The board also discussed what a member should do if they personally witness a potential violation of the Code of Ethics. Are they ethically bound to say something or is it necessary for the board to wait for a complaint to come forward. Mr. Wilcox felt the Town Attorney should be consulted on this question.
Mr. Wilcox asked the members of the Board of Ethics to review the code. The board discussed forwarding a copy of the Code of Ethics to chairmen of all Town commissions suggesting they review it with their board. The board discussed whether there is a statute of limitation. It was noted that there should not be one. Ms. Hazen will request the latest Town Charter and Code of Ethics from the Town Clerk and forward them to the board.
Procedures for Public Hearings – Mr. Wilcox opened discussion regarding procedures for public hearings. He stated that the Board of Ethics may hold a private meeting prior to a public hearing in order to discuss process and procedures for the public hearing. During the private meeting though, the details of the complaint cannot be discussed. The board also agreed that voting shall be done by ballot. The ballots will be collected by the clerk and turned over to the First Selectman and Town Clerk.
Mr. Stringer motioned to adjourn the meeting. Ms. Copp seconded the motion. The board adjourned at 7:43 pm.
Respectfully submitted by Tammy Hazen, Clerk