CANTON — The Village of Canton adopted a new code of ethics on Nov. 18, and the town is considering the adoption of a new code and will discuss language adjustments and additions on Dec. 11.
“It’s a process, and we want to get it right,” said Town Supervisor Mary Ann Ashley.
Key revisions, Ms. Ashley said, involve information pertaining to town court justices and the town assessor position.
There are ethics standards already expected from justices and the assessor, Ms. Ashley said, so the town is working to ensure its standards fit well with those of the justices and assessor.
The town’s complete code was last revised by the town board on June 8, 1999, according to the town’s code revisions document available on its website. Revisions adopted in the years since mostly relate to zoning laws, and no record of ethics code revisions is outlined in the document.
Revisions included in the village’s code detail gift acceptance, conflicting investments, conflicting employment, nepotism and a section explaining the annual disclosure requirement, for which village officers and employees must submit a signed disclosure statement as part of the ethics code.
As a joint venture, Ms. Ashley said, the town and village have been able to work together to update the ethics code, which also includes a revised ethics board section.
The former code described a three-member board of ethics, on which “a majority of such members shall be persons other than town employees” but that membership should also include at least one elected or appointed town employee. The code now structures the ethics board as a five-member group of volunteers, “none of whom is otherwise an elected or appointed officer or employee of either municipality.”
Two appointments each from the village and town, and one appointment agreed upon by both municipalities completes the two-year term board.