Ethics Commission Minutes 10/20/2011
Town of Old Lyme
Minutes of Regular Quarterly Meeting
Thursday, October 20, 2011
Meeting called to order by R. Whitcomb at 7:32 p.m.
Members present- R. Whitcomb, D. Basler, B. Hautaniemi, M. O’Brien, P. Trainor (alternate), Rj Staab (alternate), L. O’Brien (alternate)
No press was present
One member of the public was present- Bill Folland
Minutes of July 19, 2011 meeting unanimously approved, motion made by L. O’Brien, seconded by B. Hautaniemi
Any other business- Rj Staab comments to Bill Folland for calling the Ethics Commission unethical, for holding a meeting that the agenda was online a few hours late and not posted at the Town Hall
Public Comments from Bill Folland- suggestions to make people in town more aware of the Ethics Commission Reviewed various rules of the operation of the Commission
Members reviewed various rules and processes followed by the Commission
Finances- $10.00 in the budget
Voting for a new Chairman, V. Chairman and Secretary will take place @ the January, 2012 meeting
Discussion about enforcing a complaint to be put in writing and setting a time limit on public comment
Tabled for thought and research
Discussion concerning the “Authority” of the Ethics Commission as described in paragraph 1 of the bylaws; B. Whitcomb to address with Attorney Mary Lynn Clark & the Town Council
Motion to adjourn made by D. Basler, seconded by Rj Staab
Submitted by L O’Brien
October 24, 2011
Next meetin of Ethics Commission – January 17, 2012
I enjoy taking the time to serve my town of Old Lyme as an alternate on the ethics committee. The good news is that we have not been deluged with ethical complaints to handle.
On Tuesday of this week, I came to a meeting expecting to get through the agenda quickly due to the normal lack of issues, i.e. no ethics complaints to handle.
Instead I had the insult of my life when I and all present were accused of being unethical.
I have had some special experiences in my life as have others on this committee and for that reason we wish to share those experiences as we serve on this committee. For me, I have worked in regulatory affairs for over thirty years. During that time I have gained a reputation as being one of the most ethical individuals in the field; in fact I was asked to draft the Code Of Ethics for the internationally recognized Regulatory Affairs Professional Society, I agreed to work with the team, completed it and was given accolades for the work done.
I have chaired three federally registered ethics committees over the years which have as their function overseeing the ethical treatment of human subjects in clinical research . I sat through numerous federal audits of my ethics committee and was pleased to have heard from the federal government that my ethics committee is in full compliance.
So it is with a unique distaste that I had to sit and hear Mr. Fallon tell me that the Old Lyme Ethics Committee members are unethical because we chose to sit and meet to discuss an empty agenda even though we knew full well that the empty agenda was posted several hours late.
Such a late posting is a minor deviation in any logical person’s mind.
When I first volunteered for this committee I heard some members state that Mr. Fallon has come to meetings to “monitor us” and caused issues which were deemed unnecessary. Of course without experiencing it firsthand, it was hard to commiserate and to understand the disruption. This is no longer so.
This absurdity must stop and I propose that all nonmembers be seated away from the table and be allowed to hear, but not participate in the meeting. It is totally disruptive to the order and does not assist us to progress.
Should anyone need to seek Mr. Fallon’s advice, I would suggest they do so outside of the meeting. It is unlikely I will avail myself of that opportunity.
Should anyone in town wish to criticize the committee, please do so in writing; we would welcome all criticism; forms are available.
As far as the debacle experienced from Mr. Fallon on Tuesday, an apology to all is expected.