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Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Are Mayor Kenny Evans, Councilor Su Connell violating Town of Payson's ethics policies?


  LETTER TO THE EDITOR  

A formal investigation under the Ethical Behavior for Town Officials  policy would determine if there are conflicts involved with the RCEA, RCEF, and MHAF. There may actually be multiple violations. The Town of Payson "Code of Ethical Behavior...." states explicitly, the following requirements:

"When a conflict of interest arises, the Town official involved must immediately refrain from participating in any manner in the Town's decision-making processes on the matter as a Town official, including voting on the matter or attending meetings with, having written or verbal communications with, or offering advice to, any Town official, Town employee, contractor, agent, or officially appointed member of a Town board, commission, committee, task force, or agency ... In addition, within three business days of the conflict arising, the Town official must declare the specific nature of the interest on the public record by updating his or her Personal Interest Disclosure Form in the Town Clerk's office."

AND:
"During a public meetingwhen an agenda item in which a Town official has a conflict of interest comes up for consideration, the Town official shall state publicly that he or she has a conflict, state the nature of the conflict, recuse himself or herself, and leave the room while the matter is being discussed and acted upon by others on the public body."  (RCEA is a public regulated board)

That same policy also states in the opening paragraph:
"Honesty, integrity, fairness, and transparency of action are the hallmarks of public service in Payson. Use of one's position or office for personal gain or inappropriate influence will not be tolerated."

Strict compliance with the Town's policy will avoid formal complaints for ethics violations and will promote open and honest government and improve citizen confidence.

Questions to answered:
Has Mayor Kenny Evans violated the Ethical Behavior for Town Officials Payson policy by appointing a current serving Town Council member (Sue Connell), to the RCEA Board. Is that not a conflict of interest?

Has Mayor Evans violated the Ethical Behavior for Town Officials  Payson policy by appointing the Mayor of Star Valley (a separate incorporated Town) and another Star Valley Town resident, to the RCEA Board? Is it ethical for these two non-Payson residents to make decisions and vote on Payson University plans, infrastructure needs, financial priorities, and increased public services, that will directly affect the citizens and taxpayers of the Town of Payson. What about our other surrounding/border communities such as Mesa Del, Round Valley, Gisela, Oxbow Estates, Pine and Strawberry etc. Why do they not have any representation on these Mayoral appointed boards that will decide Payson's future and development?
The transparency of the Mayor, his appointed board member operations and decisions, do not inspire citizen confidence. We have been told that the multi University project is a Public/Private partnership. It appears the public half is missing entirely.

Donald Evans
Payson







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