POTSDAM The town is looking for two community volunteers to serve on a newly created board of ethics.
The town board approved a new code of ethics last month, an update of an original code created in the 1970s.
A board of ethics was mandated by the original code but was never formed.
That was never put in place, said town Councilwoman Rosemaria Rivezzi, who led the creation of the new code. I think if there was ever a need, something would have been done, but there was never a need.
It is unlikely that the three-member board will be especially active.
Members are required by law to meet once a year to report their activities to the town board, but other than that, they will only meet if ethical issues arise.
The code requires one member of the town board to serve on the ethics board. Ms. Rivezzi will fill this position. The other two members must be community members who do not work for the town.
The board will be an advisory body rather than a disciplinary one. Town employees and elected officers can request ethics information from the board.
You might not realize that some people might think what youre doing is unethical, even if you are not an unethical person, Ms. Rivezzi said.
Overall, the towns ethics code is similar to those found in other communities. It warns town employees not to use their position for personal gain and to avoid conflicts of interest.
In case of suspected foul play, the ethics board can conduct an investigation and recommend disciplinary action if required. Disciplinary measures outlined by the code could require lawmakers to repay any ill-gotten gain or even serve a short prison term depending on the severity of the offense.
The ethics board can only recommend action; final decisions regarding punishments are made by the town board.
Those interested in volunteering for the ethics board can contact Ms. Rivezzi at 265-8117.