What's Wrong With This Picture?
Not everything that has the appearance of being a conflict of interest really is a conflict. Whether a conflict, the appearance of a conflict, or just plain wrong, here are a few of the questionable practices that we have observed in Wayland recently:
- October, 2014 ~ Our Town Planner, Sarkis Sarkisian also works as a realtor. But not just any realtor; Mr. Sarkisian works for the Barber Group, which is the broker for the Covered Bridge Project. Why did Mr. Sarkisian not recuse himself from discussions and decisions regarding this project?
- October, 2014 ~ The School Committee deciding for themselves that it would be "inappropriate" (whatever that means), for them to be forced to pay the fine that the Attorney General slapped on them for breaking the Open Meeting Law, and that instead, the taxpayers would be asked to pick up the bill. Isn't that kind of like Congress voting themselves a raise? It's just not quite right.
- John Bladon serving on the ORC, which reviewed our schools, including the Principals' Discretionary Funds, which were funded by the PTO, of which his wife was the Treasurer.
- John Bladon, while Chair of the Selectmen voting on appointments to the audit committee that will oversee an audit of PDA accounts, which were funded by the PTO, of which his wife was the Treasurer
- As a Director on the PTO since its founding in July of 2003, as well as a School Committee member, Barb Fletcher should NOT have been on the ORC, which oversaw TAG's review of the schools.
- Louis Jurist encouraging voters at Town Meeting to vote down an audit of the schools that would cover the period during which he was the School Committee Chair.
- Former Superintendent Gary Burton convinced the SC to hire the new School Business Administrator from his own town of Hopkinton, while no other candidates were considered or interviewed and the job was not properly posted.
- For years, the PTO was writing checks of up to $300 and $500 directly to new and returning teachers. Whlle it's easy to understand why they'd want to be supportive of the teachers, this is not allowed by law.
What's wrong with this picture?