By Dan Hust
MONTICELLO Just two residents weighed in on the county’s proposed new ethics code at a hearing Thursday.
And their comments contained praise amidst the constructive criticism.
Both Grahamsville’s Ken Walter and Rock Hill’s Dave Colavito complimented the review committee which created the proposed revision to the ethics code, agreeing with committee member and retired judge Tony Kane that the document, if adopted by the Legislature, will be an improvement on the circa-1998 code.
“We really tried to make this readable ... and a mechanism everybody could understand,” Kane explained to the handful of people who showed up for the hearing at the Government Center in Monticello.
Walter and Colavito’s concerns basically focused on that goal, asking the committee to clean up some of the proposed language to better achieve the desire to hold public officials to a high standard of ethical conduct.
Colavito, for example, wanted to extend a ban on ex-county officials appearing before an agency over which they had previous jurisdiction from the as-written six months to two years after they’ve left the county’s employ.
Kane indicated the duo’s concerns would be addressed by the committee, and those who didn’t make Thursday’s meeting have until February 17 (or thereabouts) to submit comments in writing.
Such letters can be sent to Sullivan County Legislature Clerk AnnMarie Martin at 100 North Street, Monticello, NY 12701 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kane said the committee still has work to do, especially concerning the stipulation that no gifts over $75 can be made to public officials in a given year.
“As it reads now, my wife couldn’t give me a gift valued over $75,” he related. “... We’re going to try to come up with common-sense exceptions.”