In an effort to lead by example, three candidates for the North Greenbush Town Board have filed sample Financial Disclosure Statements with the office of Town Clerk.
“There is nothing more important that we and the next Town Board can do than to restore the faith that the public should have in the actions of town officials than to make government open and transparent”, stated Mark Evers, candidate for Supervisor. For more than a year, a revised comprehensive Ethics Law has been delivered to the majority by Councilman James Mihalko and it has languished in their caucus, stated Alan Michaels, candidate for Town Council. It’s long past the time for action and we intend to make the passage of this law along with the appointment of a three member, non partisan Board of Ethics one of the very first acts of a new Democratic Town Board.
The apparent conflicts of interest that have cast a pall over the votes and actions of this administration must come to an end. Giving the appearance that you are using the power of your public office to curry favor with your employer or anyone else with whom you might have a business relationship cannot continue in North Greenbush, stated Evers. “We intend to lead by example and so our first act as candidates will be to create transparency with regard to our finances by filing the sample Financial Disclosure Forms created for the consideration of the current Town Board by Councilman Mihalko.” Such a form will be required for all elected officials and key appointed officials like the Town Attorney, Comptroller and Engineer.
“We hope that we can demonstrate to the public that we have no outside financial interests which in any way conflict with the duties of the office we seek”, stated Council candidate Ernie Kern. I hope too that the public understands that we know when it is appropriate to abstain from a vote which could create even the appearance of a conflict of interest, including hiring of an employer’s family member.