Letter: Granby elected official or employee, but not both
Granby needs to adopt a code of ethics for elected officials, appointed officials and for town staff.
Many towns have done this. Professional behavior and actions that do not create conflicts of interest are crucial to good government. The case in point is the dual roles that Trustee Cathy Tindle now fills as both a trustee and the building and planning technician for the town.
I believe Ms. Tindle should resign immediately from the board. She should also not be considered to fill the upcoming vacancy on the new board because she is now an employee.
With elected officials filling dual roles, it raises a number of questions.
First, how does a trustee also serve as a town employee? There are reviews for quasi-judicial applications as a trustee, and hearings before the board on planning applications are supposed to be based solely on the information provided to the board during the hearing.
If a trustee works on an application as a town employee, that trustee will have foreknowledge of the application’s merits and other facts. This will constitute ex parte contact at the board level. Remember the town was recently sued for ex parte board communication on a gravel pit review — and lost.
Second, how can a trustee hold a position with the town and participate in discussions about the budget and staff compensation?
Third, with a trustee also serving as an employee, will other employees still be willing to bring up personnel issues? How can the town manager properly investigate complaints about a trustee when that trustee is effectively his employer?
Lastly, how could the town manager or department heads refuse to offer a position to a trustee who applies for a job? What is the potential for reprisal by the trustee?
This entire hire seems fraught with inappropriateness. Ms. Tindle should resign as a trustee.
— Colleen B. Hannon, Granby
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