Sunday, September 27, 2020


A Functioning Ethics Commission

After reading the Feb. 25 article “Madison BOS Sets Date for School, Academy Referenda Despite Republican Objections to Procedure,” in my opinion, the town certainly must have a functioning ethics commission in place before we vote on $145 million capital expenditures (school renewal plan and community center).

Madison, it appears, is putting the streetcar before the horse: We are making accommodations to the town’s bond counsel, rather than considering the town’s best interest, taken as a whole. The town’s bond counsel turned in a response late, missing the deadline for consideration as an agenda item, at the Feb. 24 town meeting. The agenda item had not been previously announced, and the Board of Selectmen went through special procedural motions to open the agenda and create a new action item to set the date of the town’s $145 million bonding referendum.

Selectman Erin Duques commented that she was not given adequate time to consider the question of the date and what would be best.

In the Oct. 17, 2019 Letter to the Editor “Can Rebuild That Trust,” a campaigning Peggy Lyons wrote: “[W]e should consider establishing a citizens’-driven ethics commission, which would allow public concerns to be vetted in a non-partisan forum and alleviate skepticism over policy choices.”

Madison is running amok without a functioning ethics commission in place.

First Selectman Peggy Lyons entered office facing many significant challenges—the two major bonding initiatives unresolved, a long list of unfinished projects, and a general distrust and frustration with our town government.

James Hellman