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Copyright vEsti24
Dec 02 2009
KIB Assembly Considers Conflict of Interest Code PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 02 December 2009


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             Earlier this year, the issue of a Kodiak Island Borough "code of ethics" surfaced in the borough assembly. An assembly conflict-of-interest code exists, but members felt it needed examination and revision.

            Around that time, Assembly member Louise Stutes proposed a conflict of interest code for the Assembly to adopt. That measure failed, but they did choose to make a study of the codes of other governments in areas similar to Kodiak.

            Borough clerk Nova Javier has been studying ethics codes and gathering information about them for the assembly to review. At last night's meeting her findings were introduced.

            Javier focused on the city of Haines' ethics code as a model to consider.

Of the members that joined in the discussion at last night's workshop, there was one clear point of agreement regarding the sample code: it was too lengthy.

            Borough Mayor Jerome Selby was one of those who felt like a new Kodiak Island Borough ethics policy should be short and too the point. He, and other members of the assembly, felt that the sample document went into too much detail. He felt like the document should stick to stating conflict-of-interest policy and stay away from legal opinions or analysis.


             While reviewing the sample document, Selby said he wants a code of ethics that's clear and to the point.

--          (ethics code 1                                       "Now then it ... hard is that?")

            Stutes, who raised the conflict-of-interest question earlier this year during discussion of the Threshold recycling contract, agreed that the clearer the code, the better.

--          (ethics code 2                          "In the information ...its right there.")

            During contract negotiation with Threshold Incorporated, Stutes expressed her belief that assembly woman Chris Lynch should not take part in the discussion or vote on the issue since Lynch is the president of the Threshold board.

            Others said that since Lynch's position with Threshold was voluntary, she was not in conflict since she didn't stand to make any money through the borough contract.

            Lynch did not participate in last night's discussion on the adoption of a new conflict of interest code. Assembly woman Pat Branson brought up an issue that was a sticking point in earlier discussions: What would happen if board members of non-profits could not serve on the Assembly or if assembly members are not allowed to vote on topics affecting the non-profits they volunteer with?

--          (ethics code 3                                      "I just want ... my other concern.")

            Now that assembly members have offered their input, the Borough Clerk's office will work on another draft of a new conflict of interest code for their consideration.

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