TOWN OF EAST WINDSOR
December 6, 2005
CALL TO PUBLIC HEARING
Please be advised that the Town of East Windsor will hold a public hearing on Tuesday, December 6, 2005 at 7:00 p.m. at the Town Hall, 11 Rye Street, Broad Brook, CT. Purpose of the hearing is to receive input from the public on the proposed changes to the “TOWN OF EAST WINDSOR CODE OF ETHICS”. Copies of the “PROPOSED TOWN OF EAST WINDSOR CODE OF ETHICS” are available in the Town Clerks office.
I. TIME AND PLACE OF PUBLIC HEARING
Tuesday, December 6, 2005 at 7:00 p.m. at the East Windsor Town Hall
Mrs. Roberts opened the public hearing at 7:20 p.m. on December 6, 2005 at the East Windsor Town Hall, 11 Rye Street, Broad Brook. Board of Selectmen members, Linda Roberts, First Selectman, Kenneth Crouch, Deputy First Selectman, Thomas Sinsigallo, Selectman, Gil Hayes, Selectman were present. Also present was Dale Nelson, Chairman of the Ethics Commission.
GEORGE BUTENKOFF, 169 Wells Road, East Windsor
Section 3.1 “political” elected officials are all political. Ms. Roberts outlined that is not one of the proposed changes to the current ordinance.
Section 3.3 is not very clear does that include the official and immediate family for a total of $100. For example: going out to lunch 10 times for $10 in one calendar year.
Section 4.3 the five year statute of limitations is ridiculous. The language should read “after a violation has been discovered” and in his opinion it should not be more than one year.
Section 4.3b the penalties need to be better defined. There should be restitution and this needs to be defined.
Section 4.4 should state one year after the violation is discovered.
Section 4.4a appears to have a typographical error or the wording of “termination or hearing” is awkward.
Mr. Butenkoff gave the proposed ordinance a D-.
MARIE DESOUSA, 10 RICE ROAD, EAST WINDSOR
Section 3.1 Conflict of Interest Section references “financial gain”. She was not sure the language should go that way. Ms. DeSousa gave an example how this can create problems if someone is a Board of Selectman member and their son is a member of a construction crew working on a school project. The Board of Selectman member would then be opened to potential slander. Ms. Nelson mentioned that those type of projects are sealed bid projects. Ms. DeSousa outlined she felt that it would be misconstrued and it presented a concern. Ms. Roberts outlined this is not a proposed change, but is part of the current ordinance in place and that the entire paragraph needs to be read in toto to glean the correct context.
Section 3.3. increases the amount to $100 can the Town go over the state limits? It was stated that the State recently changed their amount.
Section 4.4 within five years of alleged violation. Ms. DeSousa felt a complaint should be filed within 90 days. This would provide a quick response and the issue would be dealt with immediately and in a timely fashion. Also the fact that the accuser was kept confidential did not seem right, the accused has a right to know the accuser. Ms. Nelson stated that the accused has a chance to meet the accuser after the Board determines it is a valid complaint. If it is not a valid complaint the accuser is never known.
The penalty section has poor wording.
What is in place to enforce the ordinance and who enforces it? What happens if the accused opts not to pay the fine, who is responsible to make sure it gets paid? Also there is no appeal process to the Board of Ethics. Ms. DeSousa understands this is all in the previous Code, but felt that while revisions are being done, it should be addressed now.
WILLIAM LOOS, MELROSE ROAD, EAST WINDSOR
Section 3.3 He disagrees with the increase to $100 – that is too much for a gift, it got former Governor Rowland in trouble. Mr. Loos felt it should be decreased to $25. Gift baskets are unethical, town employees are paid – they should not be receiving gifts for people looking for favors.
Regarding the section regarding public officials signing a receipt on receiving the Ordinance - Mr. Loos stated that as a Volunteer Fire Department Member, who is paid, the Town has never given a copy of the Ethics Ordinance to the firefighters to sign. Ms. Nelson outlined that this is a new item to the proposed Ordinance, so therefore it has not been done in the past - so it would make sense that no firefighter has received a copy to sign as yet.
Upon no further public comment, Ms. Roberts closed the hearing at 7:40 p.m.
Cynthia D. Croxford