Village ethics board draws great interest

Village Hall (photo by Dion Ogust)

The village of Saugerties has a problem that many other villages and towns would envy; in searching for residents to volunteer to serve on an ethics board, rather than having too few people answer the call, the village has too many.

Earlier this year, village trustees adopted a comprehensive new code of ethics, replacing the previous code, passed in 1984, which had become outdated. The Saugerties policy deals with conflict of interest for board members, village employees, and appointed officials, such as Planning Board members, according to trustee Vincent Buono.

The ethics board oversees village policy and can hold hearings if a conflict of interest is claimed, and can issue a warning, suspension or dismissal.

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The village has separate policies that cover sexual harassment and improper Internet usage.

The mayor has the authority to appoint three volunteers to serve on the ethics board, but so far almost a dozen residents have volunteered, and according to board members it looks like that number will grow.

Board members are at a loss to explain the interest of residents to serve on the board, but they are now talking about amending the law to allow for seven volunteers to be appointed to the board.

Anyone interested in serving on the ethics board should contact Village Hall at 246-2800.

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