11 thoughts on “Members of Town Boards Accused of Violating Ethics Laws in Endorsements of CPA

  1. Surcharge (Noun)
    1 an additional charge, tax, or cost.
    2.an excessive sum or price charged.
    3.an additional or excessive load or burden.
    No wonder they might have taken a few liberties. “It is what it is”

  2. Wow! So this has now devolved into a full fledged food fight. What a shining example of neighborliness and community! I am disgusted. Mr. DiMascio has proven himself incapable of making an argument without being insulting and demeaning and now this. I can’t imagine what people from other communities would think. We have sunk mighty low. I expect most of our children know how to behave better.

    I have an idea: Let’s build an arena and we can sell tickets to the folks from Newton, Belmont, Brookline and Cambridge etc. to watch us fight like barbarians. Jeez. . .we could fund Community Preservation and the Schools with the ticket revenue.

  3. OK, so based on the quote from the Ethics Committee webpage: (“Specifically, elected officials and appointed policy-makers may take official actions concerning ballot questions relating to their particular areas of official responsibility.”) those accused of ethics violation were perfectly within the code of ethics in supporting CPA. Patrick Fairbairn is on the Conservation Commission, which is charged with finding and supporting ways to conserve Watertown’s open space and historic sites: precisely what CPA can funds can do. He’s perfectly within the protection of that quote to support it as a Conservation Commissioner. Likewise the Bike & Pedestrian Commission is supposed to find and support initiatives that improve biking and walking in the city. The CPA can provide funding to further their cause, and they are within their job description to support it.
    Patrick and the Bike & Pedestrian group are doing exactly what they are supposed to do in supporting CPA. Clearly, There has been no ethics breach.

  4. Not only are there possible breaches of ethics.. but other laws may have been violated…. Stand – by… as it will all shake out when investigated , and it will be.

    I find it rich that the Chair of the Bicycle Pedestrian Committee, the very committee that abused it’s power and name for political purposes, is accusing me of attacking them for political purposes, by pointing out their misconduct.

    • John you attack many reasonable people on a regular basis. The folks you are attacking have done more for the community than you ever have and most folks know it.

  5. Chosiad, I can’t speak for Mr Fairbairin (and he isn’t commenting) but it is in fact a violation. Keep this in mind too; He was made him aware that he may have made a mistake before I posted anything about it. No response. We were both invited to write a piece for The Boston Globe West a few weeks ago. I wrote for the Vote No side, he wrote for the Vote Yes. My understanding was he wanted to write the article with his title as conservation commissioner-if you look you can see the Globe wouldn’t let him because of this very issue/conflict. He wrote the article as a member of “Invest In Watetown”, which unfortunately he should have done here too. Charlie knows about it and I hope they fix it. I think it was an honest mistake, but a mistake nonetheless. Below is the statute: Ironically they use a Conservation Commissioner as an example. My CAPS “Similarly, public employees may engage in non-election-related political activity on their own time, without the use of public resources and as PRIVATE CITIZENS Below are examples of non-election-related political activity that do not raise any issue under the conflict of interest law.
    Example: A member of a town Conservation Commission, acting as a private citizen and WITHOUT USING HIS TITLE or any public resources, may participate in a grass roots group’s efforts to convince local government to build a new public school, provided that he does not act as the group’s agent or representative and is not compensated for his participation.

    • You guys are going too far and I think it may cost you. Most reasonable adults would not see this as a reasonable course of action.

      • Mr Levendusky, A question is asked and a question is answered? I don’t know how I coud be more fair to Mt Fairbairin, who I don’t know but I respect his position. I honestly wish he didn’t do what he did and I said I personally didn’t thing it was intentionally. Perhaps I haven’t communicated properly what we are hearing from folks? I may have failed in educating people on how many parents were absolutely horrified and angry at the folks behind this initiative. One parent, who has grandchildren in the same facilities as their Great Grandparents, gave me, by far the best analogy I’ve heard on this yet. She said “John, I feel like Lucy is once again pulling the football away from Charlie Brown at the last second’ I think the more people learn about the school situation, the more sensitive they are. They have seen this movie too many times. If you look at this in a vacuum I agree it looks like folks getting overheated, over a ballot question. When you have residents who feel like this was not only done intentional, to be ahead of the schools, but also now reading about possible malfeasance too, well, this anger doesn’t surprise me and some of it may turn out to be justifiable. If the school override fails, furious parents are going to rightful look back and place some of the blame on this initiative and the folks behind it.

  6. Looks like the Town of Watertown may need to publish and distribute an operations guide to town employees and board members to ensure that everyone understands the ethics rules to keep anything like this from happening again.

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