A Call for Fairness

0:00 For hundreds of years, judicial review has been a fundamental aspect of our democratic form of government.  Our volunteer Planning Commission, our volunteer Zoning […]

Published June 30, 2023 10:37 PM
2 min read

0:00

For hundreds of years, judicial review has been a fundamental aspect of our democratic form of government.

 Our volunteer Planning Commission, our volunteer Zoning Board of Appeals, and our volunteer City Council have all been subject to judicial review. In our case, some say there should be no review of the Board of Ethics’ decisions, however every part of our municipal government is subject to judicial review, including the Board of Ethics. 

 We are volunteers who have given many years of service to the City. We are puzzled by those who say we have no recourse when a deeply flawed BoE process has led to the mistaken conclusion that we participated in an appearance of impropriety by pursuing a legislative goal that many in the community desired. To be clear, we were said to have been in violation of the Code of Ethics for calling or attending a special meeting the only purpose of which was to schedule a public hearing on a tree cutting moratorium. This claim was made without ever speaking with us, despite our many requests to share our reasoning.

 We ask, who will step up to serve on our volunteer Council or the various other volunteer parts of our municipal government if they will be subject to the result of BoE proceedings to which they are not invited and that end with completely unethical public efforts to destroy their reputations?

 This erroneous decision would have gone unnoticed but for the intentional breach of confidentiality by our colleagues. In an effort to destroy our reputations and in violation of the Code of Ethics, it was distributed to the press. Thus, we find ourselves in this unfortunate situation.

 We have filed an action that asks only for judicial review of the BoE “Confidential Advisory Opinion” and related process. It is an action that a court typically handles on the papers, without discovery or deposition. No damages are sought and there are no claims against BoE members individually. 

 We tried to avoid bringing the action, but felt we had no other choice. We are encouraged to have received multiple suggestions from thoughtful residents to try for a mediated result. We hope mediation may be possible.

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