The town's Board of Ethics voted unanimously that two members of the town's Planning & Zoning Commission (PZC) "breached the trust of the public and violated section IV - Conflict of Interest of the Town of Clinton Code of Ethics by participating in the discussions and vote on the resubmitted John Watts site plan application."
PZC members in question, Lisa MacDonald (R - term to November 1, 2013) and Cynthia Watts (R - term to November 1, 2013) were not present at the meeting held March 6.
The town's Board of Ethics, a volunteer group appointed by the Board of Selectmen, is composed of Chairman Kenneth McDonnell, Carol Anderson, John Critchley, Bonnie Fillion and Christopher Horvath.
On Feb. 1 they agreed that there was
The complaint against the two women was initiated by resident Peggy Adler who felt they had violated the town's code of ethics and had strong conflicts of interest when they approved, as members of the PZC, an application by the brother of Cynthia Watts for a building located at 186 East Main Street in Clinton. MacDonald's conflict of interest, said Adler, came due to her role as the spouse of John Watts' architect for the same project.
Adler said "the system works," after hearing of the Ethics Board's decision. "My hope is that they (MacDonald and Watts) will resign."
If you are wondering what happens next, so were others at the meeting including the members of the Board of Ethics.
There was discussion of the Planning & Zoning Commission revisiting the application and re-voting on the revised application.
"We are charged with determining if there was a breach of ethics, or not," noted McDonnell, who said the next step is to forward their findings to their authority (in this case the Board of Selectmen) and to the Planning & Zoning Commission, the complainant (Adler) and the two respondents (MacDonald and Watts).
The respondents could appeal the decision to the Superior Court.
The full memorandum of decision by the Ethics Board is attached in a .pdf file.