The Canaan Ethics law was created in 2005. There are many reasons for a town like ours to have such a law and a functioning Board of Ethics. First of all the Board of Ethics can review a charge against a town official or town volunteer when a citizen is concerned about a possible conflict of interest and wishes to prevent future conflicts or call attention to one. Another reason for an ethical review is to protect Canaan’s elected people who may want an interpretation on a particular situation where they wish to be sure they have avoided even the perception of a conflict of interest. Thus the Board of Ethics can aid a town board member, employee or volunteer who is wondering if a particular action is deemed appropriate or inappropriate behavior for a Canaan official.
The Board of Ethics, quite simply, is a no cost, community level group (five in number) who provide a local service for Canaan citizens and town officers to help them facilitate a citizen’s role as watch agents in safeguarding the town’s best interest. All final decisions are made public and are available at the Town Hall.
There is a note of caution, however. Charges of impropriety against a town official should not be made lightly. Therefore the Board of Ethics holds the right to dismiss a complaint which they consider scurrilous. Charges must have some basis in fact in order to be reviewed.
Look over the site, peruse the forms devised to assist individuals in filing a concern or grievance, read your local Town of Canaan Ethics Law. They are all found here. If you have a question, call the Town Clerk who will initiate contact with a Board of Ethics member.
Board of Ethics
Reviews and decides complaints or questions concerning conflicts of interest for town officials and employees.
Meets: As needed.
John Kowalski, Chairman
Phone: (518) 781-3144 extension 1