Connecticut: The Westport League of Women Voters is proposing that the Representative Town Meeting consider adopting an ethics code for town employees and elected officials.

Elected town officials and town employees --- whether they work in town hall, above, or elsewhere --- would be governed by a proposed ethics code. Photo: Paul Schott / Westport News
Elected town officials and town employees — whether they work in town hall, above, or elsewhere — would be governed by a proposed ethics code.
Photo: Paul Schott /WestportNews

The Westport League of Women Voters is proposing that the Representative Town Meeting consider adopting an ethics code for town employees and elected officials. The town does not have either an ethics code or an ethics commission. However, the town charter’s Rules Governing Boards and Commission and the RTM’s Rules of Procedure address conflicts of interest.

“We feel that a code of ethics would be very useful to the town because it would provide a statement for our town that we expect good government,” said Christine O’Sullivan, co-chairwoman of LWV’s Ethics Study Committee, which drafted the proposed code. “We want people to be confident in their municipal government. It’s not only an expression of support for good government, it’s also an avenue for advice or complaints, if either should arise.”
See Full Article at:http://www.westport-news.com/news/article/LWV-unveils-proposed-ethics-code-for-town-3879882.php

Also See Full Story from Below at: http://www.westportnow.com/index.php?/v2_5/comments/league_pushes_town_ethics_code_adoption/

According to O’Sullivan, Westport does not have “a comprehensive code of ethics,” as do 124 of Connecticut’s 169 municipalities. Instead, she says, Westport has ethical references, such as caveats against conflicts of interest, spread across town documents, including the Town Charter and Town Code.

“But it has never been a full code,” O’Sullivan said, noting that a local ethics codes and committees had been recommended by the Office of State Ethics back in 2007.

“And many towns had a code before the recommendation was made,” she said. “They took it upon themselves.”

Porio, who has been working on the draft since June with O’Sullivan, John Hartwell, Bob Zappi, the former Republican Town Committee chairman, Louisa Francoeur and Lisa Shufro, noted that town has been trying to implement an ethics code since 1983.

“In 1983 they did a two-year study by a committee appointed by RTM, but the RTM voted it down,” she said.

She said the reason it was turned down was the requirement that all town officials, even those in volunteer positions, submit financial disclosures, “and a lot of people took exception to it.”

According to the draft, the ethics code would include, but is not limited to “all town officials and employees, whether elected or appointed, paid or unpaid.”

“We steered clear of it in this one,” Porio said about the eight-page draft available on the LWV website.

She said the reason it was turned down was the requirement that all town officials, even those in volunteer positions, submit financial disclosures, “and a lot of people took exception to it.”

Also See DRAFT PDF:
LWV MUNICIPAL ETHICS CODE WORKING GROUP September 11, 2012

http://www.lwvwestportct.org/draftethicscodeforwebsite.pdf

 


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