Monday, January 30, 2017

Conflict of interest of public official; reporting requirement

"Any public official, as defined by section l of chapter two hundred and sixty-eight B, (read a Town Councilor) 
who in the discharge of his official duties (voting on a zoning bylaw amendment, for example) 
would be required knowingly to take an action which would substantially affect such official's financial interests, (any bylaw amendment that would affect the market value of residential or commercial property) 
unless the effect on such an official is no greater than the effect on the general public,  (when the Town Councilor is also a realtor, they would have a 'greater' effect than the general citizen) 
shall file a written description of the required action and the potential conflict of interest with the state ethics commission established by said chapter two hundred and sixty-eight B." (how many such filings have been made the realtors who are Town Councilors?)



Why do we ask such?

The potential councilor conflict of interest for realtors was raised during the Summer St zoning map change discussion. One realtor councilor had recused himself. The other realtor councilor chose not to recuse himself.

Glenn Jones after being duly elected in 2013, resigned from the Town Council in October 2014 as he had just been hired to teach at Tri-County Regional Vocational Technical High School. As a member of the Town Council, he would be voting on the Franklin portion of the Tri-County budget. He was subsequently voted in again in 2015 and it was known that he was working at Tri-County so while the conflict potential exists, it was at least disclosed and known. He took the high road in 2014 and kudos to him for doing so.



From MA.gov:

268A:6A. Conflict of interest of public official; reporting requirement.
"Section 6A. Any public official, as defined by section l of chapter two hundred and sixty-eight B, who in the discharge of his official duties would be required knowingly to take an action which would substantially affect such official's financial interests, unless the effect on such an official is no greater than the effect on the general public, shall file a written description of the required action and the potential conflict of interest with the state ethics commission established by said chapter two hundred and sixty-eight B."
Copied from the MA page found here
http://www.mass.gov/ethics/laws-and-regulations/conflict-of-interest-law.html


From the archives:

  • Jones resignation will bring special election
http://www.franklinmatters.org/2014/10/jones-resignation-will-bring-special.html

G.L. c. 268A, the Conflict of Interest Law, as Amended by c. 194, Acts of 2011
G.L. c. 268A, the Conflict of Interest Law, as Amended by c. 194, Acts of 2011

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