Let's Talk Ethics

Cross-posted from the Growing Stoneham blog: http://http//growingstoneham.wordpress.com/2014/03/10/lets-talk-ethics/

No matter what level an election, ethics should absolutely be number one when it comes to issues in a campaign. Yesterday The Boston Globe Metro section ran a small blurb regarding my opponent alongside other North Shore local-area political notes. Since then, there has been an uptick in discussions pertaining to rules and ethics. We do have an ethics issue touching the current Stoneham Selectman race, and this posting from the Friends of Stoneham Facebook group captures its essence quite well:

“I believe as a reporter you have a responsibility for giving equal time to the other candidate. I am not a politician, a candidate or a town employee or related to any employees. I am a homeowner and taxpayer who has lived in Stoneham for over 40 years. I vote on the basis of who is the best candidate for the job. Ms. Parker has been a wonderful volunteer in our community for our children. No one is disputing her abilities and willingness to serve our community. In this election however we have an existing Selectwoman who in 9 months, and has done an effective and productive job, and has shown concern for the “whole” community.

Ms. Parker fails to state that she is a part time employee of the Stoneham Police Department and as such, if elected to the Stoneham Board of Selectmen, whenever contracts or budget negotiations are on the agenda –either public or in executive session– Ms. Parker must excuse herself from such matters and leave the room.

See “Section Restrictions on Your Actions by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts State Ethics Commission: http://www.mass.gov/ethics/education-and-training-resources/educational-materials/explanations-of-the-conflict-of-interest-law/selectmen-summary.html

The importance of this couldn’t be stressed enough. The purpose of having five Selectmen is to avoid a tie when it comes to voting on issues. Not having a properly balanced Board of Selectmen would be absolutely dangerous to the progression of Stoneham.

This issue is also well-discussed and explored in the comments section of this Stoneham Patch article.

-Ann Marie O'Neill, Stoneham Selectman 

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Danielle Masterson March 13, 2014 at 08:49 AM
All of the comments on this thread have been restored. Please remember to use the "Flag as Inappropriate" option judiciously. This is to take down comments that violate the Patch Terms of Service - which can be read here: http://stoneham.patch.com/terms ... Comments that should be flagged are comments that: 1) abusive, profane, defamatory; 2) infringe on copyright; 3) violate privacy; 4) threaten or harass; 5) are violent; 6) are illegal; 7) are spam; 8) are viruses; 9) are inaccurate or misleading. Opinions are not misleading, they are *welcome* on Stoneham Patch. So is debate. So, debate away, Stoneham!
Cristine Warren Linn March 13, 2014 at 10:15 AM
Anna, good point. It's even sadder to think more than one person or even a group of people got together to take down "Friends of Stoneham".
Russ March 13, 2014 at 02:24 PM
Thank you Danielle for demonstrating the importance of being a professional of the fourth estate. Its import cannot be overstated. "Anna", Subjective 'responsibility' resides nowhere in the Constitution. Free speech (as long as it's not 'yelling' fire in a crowded movie theater where there is no fire) is not restricted. This is becoming a bit embarrassing very quickly as well as a serious concern for Stoneham I believe. Hopefully it will become a learning experience for all of us.
Danielle Masterson March 16, 2014 at 11:59 AM
Again, ALL comments have been restored in this thread - including *mine* which I know did not violate any Terms of Service. :) Please remember that debate is welcome on Stoneham Patch and should not be squashed due to disagreement in opinions or political values. Thank you, Stoneham! Now... DEBATE!
Grow Up March 16, 2014 at 01:26 PM
I find it both interesting and disturbing that rather than engage in discussions effectively, these individuals just delete, even after being called out on this behavior. But I suppose that's right in line with what that candidate and her team subscribes to, considering Ann Marie O'Neill's opponent is currently on vacation when she should be in the middle of campaigning. Nothing changes if... oh wait, there's no one there.


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