Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas

May the blessings of Christmas fill all your homes and lives.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Clear And Obvious Conflict of Interest

There is a story in the Daily Freeman today wherein Mayor Gallo accuses Alderman Will of a conflict of interest and Alderman Will takes personal shots at the Mayor.

Here's what it is about.  The Council was asked to vote on a resolution to hire a company to review the construction and the design of the Pike Plan that was done by right at the end of the Sottile administration.

The conflict comes up because Alderman Will, who works as an architect when he is not arguing with the Mayor, helped to design the Pike Plan renovations.  Basically, Alderman Will voted against funding a review of some of his work.

Now, let me be clear, I am NOT questioning Alderman Will's work as an architect.  I have insufficient information of the details and I would never question the work or competence of a licensed professional without solid and unquestionable proof. However, I do think there is a clear and obvious conflict of interest.

When one reviews a conflict of interest, one looks at the "appearance of impropriety" not an actual impropriety.  By voting against the resolution, it could leave voters with the impression that Alderman Will does not want his work examined.  I am not saying that that is the reason for his vote.  However, it creates a bad appearance.

I believe very strongly that Alderman Will should have announced on the Council floor that while he stands by his work and efforts as an architect, he would abstain from any vote to avoid the appearance of impropriety.  At the very least, he should have asked Corporation Counsel for an opinion on the question just to cover his political behind.

Now, the Alderman is wide open for criticism and can only blame himself.  It was a rookie mistake that could have and should have been avoided.