Shawn M. Morse
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City of Cohoes
97 Mohawk Street
Cohoes, NY 12047

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Currently:
June 29, 2017
10:22 AM

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Topic:   Ethics Board
 
In attendance:   All members of the Common Council, members of the Board of Ethics, and the mayor
 
Brief discussion on the history and establishment of the Ethics Board in 2011.  Review of how the board was created, and has been functioning since inception.  The meeting was held to meet with current board members as we’ve had some turn-over of personnel on the board and the board is currently one board member short, an alternate.
 
The board has been operating as an independent entity since inception and has dealt with a number of issues since it was established.
 
The Common Council held interviews and created the Ethics Board based on the original interviews and maintained a list of alternates in the event that we had turn-over.  The original interviews produced a very high quality group of candidates from which we were able to draw, but has since been depleted.  Now that the Board of Ethics is established, the council and the board feel that the Board of Ethics should work independently of the council to fill and maintain the Ethics Board and it’s lists of alternates.
 
The current Board agrees with that premise and will meet by the end of the month to decide how to proceed.  It was discussed that, they will conduct the search for new candidates, vet them, and offer the council at least two viable candidates at a time, for approval, and addition to the board when needed.  They will follow the current legislation in regard to guidelines.  It was also discussed that we will have Corporation Council look at the current legislation to add the language that would require Common Council approval of new board members going forward.
 
Everyone at the meeting was in agreement with this process, albeit with some minor reservations as to control.  However, we plan to meet again after the Board of Ethics meets on their own to access our progress and move forward with these changes.  We have to keep in mind, that we were one of the first cities to establish a Board of Ethics, it was unchartered territory, and still is.  Many cities and towns have modeled our legislation.  We have to move forward the best way we know how and with the utmost of integrity.
 
Thank You to everyone for attendance and contribution to the meeting.
 
Fred Turcotte
 





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