Mary-Jane Foster, who has formed a candidate committee and is expected next week to announce her plans to seek the Democratic nomination for mayor via September primary, says City Council members on the public payroll pose conflicts of interest. For instance Bob Curwen, co-chair of the Budget and Appropriations Committee, was recently appointed to a city position. How can Curwen serve two masters? Word from City Hall is Curwen must make a choice: resign his council position or resign city employment. Statement from Foster:
Foster: City Council members must never be appointed to a paid city position without resigning
“For too long we’ve seen the inherent conflicts of interests that arise for City Council members who are also City employees. With the 2011/12 budget cycle beginning, how many will recuse themselves rather than vote on a budget that directly affects their employment? Or vote on a vendor contract that provides personal benefits?
“While a mayor cannot stop a City employee from seeking public office, a mayor can fundamentally decide to never appoint a member of the City Council to a paid City position. It is my position that a mayor should not appoint a member of the City Council to a City job without a clear irrevocable policy. If they’re qualified to do the job, they must resign from the City Council. You cannot have it both ways.”