The Greenburgh Town Board took two major steps to revamping and revitalizing the Town’s Board of Ethics and Code of Ethics at a special meeting of the board held Friday, July 6 at Greenburgh Town Hall.
The board unanimously appointed former Village of Hastings trustee Bruce Jennings and Greenburgh attorney Ken Bunting to round out the five-member panel. The board interviewed several exceptional candidates before making the final appointments.
Also on Friday, the Town Board officially introduced the new and vastly stronger Code of Ethics and announced the public hearing on the law will be held Wednesday, July 18 at 7:15 p.m. at Town Hall.
The updated code includes several updates to the old and outdated law. Those changes include a zero tolerance policy on accepting contributions from applicants or their representatives who have an application before the town. Under the old code, town officials 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 – Eddie Mae Barnes, Steve Bass, Diana Juettner and Francis Sheehan – in its referral to the Board of Ethics earlier this year proposed to close that loophole in the code.
The Town Council also proposed 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 proposed allowing the Board of Ethics itself to take up relevant matters on its own initiative.
Another update will 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.
We look forward to hearing from you either before or during the public hearing on July 18. Follow this link to the proposed Ethics Code law