At the March 28 meeting of the Greenburgh Town Board, the Town Council – Eddie Mae Barnes, Steve Bass, Diana Juettner and Francis Sheehan – will be proposing several changes to the Town’s Code of Ethics that they have already verbally presented at various community meetings.
The changes will include a zero tolerance policy on accepting contributions from applicants or their representatives who have an application before the town. Under the current code, town officials, arguably, could accept such contributions if they did not solicit them. With a willing applicant and a willing town official, it is almost impossible to prove a town official solicited the contributions. The Town Council proposes to close that loophole in the town's Code of Ethics.
The Town Council also proposes to expand the code to allow citizens to file a complaint – currently the Town Board or another official has to refer an issue to the Ethics Board for review. The Town Council also proposes allowing the Ethics Board itself to take up relevant matters on its own initiative.
Another update will be to expand the current definition of "interest" in the Code of Ethics to prohibit town officials from voting on matters involving significant financial interest for their adult children, parents, grandparents, brothers and sisters, all of which are currently not listed as creating a conflict.
The Town Council welcomes suggestions for further strengthening our town's Code of Ethics. Please feel free to email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or call the Town Council office (993-1544 ext. 5) with any suggestions or comments regarding this matter. The Town Council will compile its amendments into a single document and provide copies prior to the March 28 Town Board meeting.