Establishment of Town Board of Ethics.
A local Board of Ethics for the Town of Goshen is hereby established.
The Board of Ethics shall consist of three members, all of whom shall be appointed by the Town Board. Of the initial members one shall be appointed for three years, one shall be appointed for two years, and one shall be appointed for one year. All subsequent appointees shall be appointed to three-year terms commencing January 1.
All members of the Board of Ethics shall reside within the Town. No political party officer, lobbyist or elected official may be a member and not more than one Town officer or employee may be a member.
Special-purpose member. The Town Board of the Town of Goshen may, in any year it deems necessary, appoint a temporary special purpose member to the Ethics Board to serve as provided in this section. The temporary member shall be appointed or a one-year term of office. The chairperson of the Board of Ethics shall assign the temporary member as necessary when conflict of interest of regular members of the Board would otherwise prevent a full Board from considering any pending matter. Once designated to serve on a particular matter before the Board, the temporary member shall have the same powers and duties as regular members of the Board until that matter is concluded. Any determination by the Board consisting of a temporary member shall have the same weight and be entitled to the same authority as the act or deed of the regular Board and all laws, statutes and regulations shall apply and be applied with equal force and effect. A temporary member appointed pursuant to this section shall be paid for its respective services as fixed by resolution of the Town Board.
Appropriate funds shall be allocated by the Town Board for the operation and maintenance of the Board of Ethics.
Matters before the Board of Ethics shall be confidential and, therefore, all meetings of the Board to discuss or hear a matter concerning the ethical conduct of an officer or employee shall be closed to the public. Opinions and requests for opinions shall be confidential records, except as provided in § 14-20D below or unless the individual who is the subject of the opinion specifically requests otherwise, in writing, to the Board of Ethics. All opinions and requests for opinions shall be indexed and maintained on file in an appropriate manner by the Board of Ethics.
The Attorney for the Town shall provide such legal and advisory services to the Board of Ethics as the Board may require for the performance of its duties.
Members of the Board of Ethics shall not receive compensation for the performance of their official duties but shall be reimbursed for reasonable and necessary expenses.
A member of the Board of Ethics serves at the pleasure of the Town Board and may be removed with cause after a hearing by a majority vote of the Town Board.
At its first meeting each year the Board of Ethics shall elect a Chairman from among its membership. Two members of the Board shall constitute a quorum, and a vote of at least two members shall be required for the Board to take any action. The Board shall hold at least one regularly scheduled meeting per year, in March of each year, and other meetings as needed. The Chairman or any two members of the Board may call a meeting of the Board upon reasonable notice.
The Board of Ethics shall have the following powers, duties and responsibilities:
Prescribe and promulgate rules and regulations governing its own organization and procedures in a manner consistent with the Code.
Review and maintain lists of officers and employees and any annual financial disclosure statements which may be promulgated by the Town Board.
Index and maintain the confidentiality of advisory opinions.
Provide training and education to Town officers and employees with respect to the provisions of the Code.
Prepare an annual report to the Town Board summarizing the activities of the Board of Ethics.
Recommend changes to the Code of Ethics if deemed necessary or appropriate by the Board.
Act only with respect to officers, employees and consultants of the Town of Goshen.
Upon the written request of a municipal officer or employee, the Board of Ethics shall render an advisory opinion to such officer or employee with respect to any matter addressed by the Code as such matter may apply to the subject officer or employee.
In addition, the Town Board, by majority plus one vote, may make a written request to the Board of Ethics to render such an advisory opinion to a specified officer or employee. Such request by a Town Board member shall set forth specific reasons in support of the request.
Any advisory opinion rendered by the Board of Ethics shall be in writing, shall set forth supporting reasons and shall be delivered only to the subject officer or employee. Such opinion shall remain confidential unless knowingly and intentionally waived by such officer or employee, except as provided in Subsection D below or unless the subject officer or employee specifically requests otherwise in writing to the Board of Ethics.
If the Town Board advises the Board of Ethics, in writing, that the Town Board (or any other Town body with disciplinary authority) is investigating pending disciplinary charges against any officer or employee based, in whole or part, on an alleged violation of any matter addressed by the Code or any alleged breach of ethical conduct, and the Town Board requests a copy of any advisory opinion the Board of Ethics has rendered with respect to the subject matter of the Town Board's request, then the Board of Ethics shall transmit said copy to the Town Board. The Town Board shall maintain the confidentiality of any such advisory opinion, except the opinion may be made public as part of a disciplinary hearing. If the Board of Ethics has not rendered an advisory opinion on that subject or if the subject officer or employee has not requested such an advisory opinion, then the Board of Ethics shall so advise the Town Board.
Upon written request of any board or commission of the Town, the Board of Ethics shall render a written advisory opinion with respect to the general interpretation or application of any provision of the Code.