Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Council Recusals

Thanks to John McDaid of Hard Deadlines I recently read an article of his that I missed previously. It reports on the R.I. Ethics Commission presentation made to the Portsmouth Town Council. This information was presented not only to the community as a whole, but the School board & various boards/committees. It certainly contained some info I was not aware of.

Council recusals happen rather frequently, at least in Middletown. There are rules regarding this action. For instance, you should leave the dais so as not to give any appearance of continuing to participate. This importance of this was most recently brought toattention when Councillor Mello, the acting Chair, recused herself from two matters, yet continued to sit with the Council. It was then unclear to the members, & audience, who was conducting the meeting. Removing herself would have brought attention to & settled the matter.

There is also a form or letter which MUST be filed. This is the link for the form. Has anyone ever actually done this? There are exceptions. This brings to mind yet another matter. None of these filed forms are online, including the financial disclosure forms which politicans, et al, must file. They used to be but no longer. The most recent filings I could access from another site are from 2005 & those are lege members only. Hello. What's the problem here? Keeping them on file in Prov. for 5 yrs. is not much of a help. You must also pay for hard copies.

There are also rules on accepting gifts. Meals, hotels, football tickets, etc. must be accounted for & are not accceptable if worth over $25 (with a yearly limit of $75).

But you need to read John's blog. No use in my re-creating the wheel. Thanks for the info, John! Sometimes I'm a bit slow.
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