“Madison is experiencing a time of uniquely consequential and complex local issues. This occurs against a national backdrop of murky ethical, moral, and legal maneuvering. The resulting mistrust may have already spilled into our local dialogue as well. The citizens of Madison have rightfully high expectations regarding the transparency and conduct of their local elected officials, town employees, and volunteers.
Given this landscape, our elected officials should prioritize the creation of an ethics commission. Eleven years ago, the Board of Selectmen initiated a process to create a citizen-driven ethics commission. That effort came close to being finalized and implemented but did not cross the finish line.
The following language, developed in 2009, could serve as our starting place:
“For a democratic government to function effectively, public officials, employees, and volunteers must be responsible to the citizens of the town by adhering to the highest ethical standards while fully complying with all laws. All public officials, employees, and volunteers of the town have a duty to be free of influence or personal considerations when conducting town business. They must not use a position and job or volunteer responsibility for private gain, to advance personal interests, or to obtain special benefits for themselves, related persons, friends, or acquaintances. In the conduct of town business, every effort should be made to achieve and maintain a level of transparency that will withstand the scrutiny of the citizens of Madison.”
It’s time to join the large number of towns across Connecticut in ensuring principled and proper leadership and public service. Madison’s Ethics Commission is an idea that is far overdue in this town, and we are eager to see it through.”
Democratic Selectmen Al Goldberg and Scott Murphy
Running for re-election
Published on October 16, 2019 at https://www.zip06.com/letters/20191016/an-ethics-commission.