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Town talks ethics

PINE PLAINS — Those at the Wednesday, April 15, Town Board meeting were witness to a discussion among the board members and Attorney to the Town Warren Replansky regarding a pending revision of the ethics law. Replansky said last week that he prepared some information in the hope of “stimulating some thoughts” about the issue.

“The [existing sample] law I gave you has most of the points you’ll find in … the proposed law [I’m working on],” he said. “I don’t know if you want a workshop on this or if you want to e-mail me [your comments].”

Town Councilwoman Rosemary Lyons-Chase said she was hoping the board wouldn’t have to make any decisions on the law that night, as she wanted more time to review the matter. Much to her relief, she was told Replansky was only handing over information for review, and that the decision making would be left for another night.

“I just wanted to keep it on the front burner,” town Supervisor Gregg Pulver said.

“Take a look at it and decide if you want an annual disclosure statement on this,” added Replansky.

“As I look at this I don’t think that there’s a base left uncovered,” said town Councilman George Keeler.

“This pretty much covers all the bases,” Replansky replied.

Lyons-Chase then asked about the Ethics Board itself. She asked how many members of the board could be elected officials. Her understanding was that one of three members on the board could be an elected official. Replansky said he would check into the two different ethics laws he was researching for possible answers and then get back to the Town Board with a response.

“If you have other thoughts like that e-mail them to me,” he said, encouraging the board to participate in the process.

“I’m interested also in the number on the board,” Lyons-Chase said. “We’re looking at three, right Warren?”

“Well, it’s hard to fill a board. We don’t want to have eight members,” Replansky replied.

“I spoke to one member on the Ethics Board right now and he said business is slow,” Lyons-Chase acknowledged.

“Which is good,” Replansky said.

The board murmured its consent. It then agreed to hold a further discussion on the issue at a future workshop meeting.

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