Letter to the Editor – April 28, 2016

Ethics policy needs revision


To the Editor:

Not quite a year ago, The Milford Cabinet ran a story titled: "Milford administrator: Town is not selling loam from Brox" (June 11, 2015). This was a story about the Milford Department of Public Works having a "routine arrangement" with the Trombly Excavating Co. whereby the company could borrow a truckload of loam from the Brox town land and deliver it to one of the company’s own private customers in Hollis. Questions of propriety have arisen because it has been confirmed that Mr. Riendeau actually works for the Trombly company outside of his regular job as DPW director.

Who knew last year that the director of public works actually works for the private excavating company? I didn’t know. Doesn’t seem like reporter Kathy Cleveland knew, either. But many "inside" people did know, including the town administrator. It is within the public’s right to bring suspected "conflicts of interest" to the attention of the Ethics Committee, which I have done.

But the town’s ethics policy is broken. Under the policy, the Ethics Committee was required to hand over the complaint to the town administrator, even though he is not in a position to be impartial. Neither is the Board of Selectmen capable of impartiality in this matter, as some selectmen are partial to both the DPW director and the private excavating company.

Therefore, I have asked the selectmen to revise the ethics policy to allow the Ethics Committee to retain a complaint in a case such as this one to guarantee impartial handling of complaints. No resident should feel as I do that a complaint was merely swept under the rug.

The public deserves an ethics policy that works to guarantee that the public good is being served by public servants. Suzanne Fournier Coordinator, Brox Environmental Citizens Milford