Saturday, March 24, 2007
"One is the loneliest number..."
Since a flock of folks have asked how I’m voting in Tuesday’s election I’ll let you in on the secret: Sorry Alisa, but I’m bullet voting for you (sorry meaning I hope that didn’t just cost you a few votes); and I suppose if somebody pressed a flamethrower to my head and required that second vote I would hold my nose, close my eyes, throw salt over my left shoulder and vote for Mr. Weiss (no apology--and I do hope it costs you some votes Gerry).
So why does Mr. Hubley come in last in a race where two out of three win? Well, lets forget the frequent Reagan moments because he was pretty lucid when stating he “slid like a zombie” into his current position (perfect metaphor) or that Open Space is better than development, which is like a firefighter suggesting gasoline as means of fire suppression.
I could, however, most eagerly flip-flop (like the Select board did Monday night on an additional May 1’st Override Question) with only one condition: I would bullet vote for Hubley as long as his wife, current Select board Czar Anne Awad, resigns if he is reelected.
An acquaintance asked an attorney if it’s a conflict for two of five Select board members to be married (to each other)? He quickly responded: “While it is not illegal under State Ethics Law or Open Meeting Law for married people to serve on the same board, as a matter of public policy it’s a very bad idea.”
Now lawyers are far from infallible but this one makes sense. He continues:
“When three of five Select Board members make a quorum, and when two Select Board members are married, it’s very easy to violate the open meeting law.
Robbie and Anne have recently been cited for violating the open meeting law on two occasions by using emails to discuss important town business.
By having a married couple serving together on the Select Board, the likelihood of further violations is significantly increased.”
He went on to cite state ethics law c. 268A: "act in a manner which would cause a reasonable person, having knowledge of the relevant circumstances, to conclude that any person can improperly influence or unduly enjoy his favor in the performance of his official duties, or that he is likely to act or fail to act as a result of kinship, rank, position or undue influence of any party or person."
And all the state requires to nullify this possible conflict is simply to disclose this “kinship” publicly.
I think she broke trust with her supporters by not disclosing her close personal relationship with another Select board member in last year’s low-key campaign. Although I do have to admit, their affair was the worst kept secret in Amherst.
Of course, the certain way to solve this problem of a five-member Select board with possible conflict of relationships is to switch to a strong Mayor form of government.
Let the revolution begin!