Bill Finch had this problem. Joe Ganim too. Whether effort for the task, administrative disorganization, lack of interest by the public to serve, background check logjam; filling vacancies to boards and commissions has been a quagmire for a decade.
In light of the controversy swirling around ethics commissioner Noel Kayo’s recent legal and licensing issues, CT Post reporter Brian Lockhart examines the “broken” system to fuel key policy-making boards.
There again, however, politics cannot be ruled out as playing a role in recruitment. When, for example, Miscellaneous Matters interviewed Kayo last summer for a seat on the ethics board, Kayo, according to the meeting minutes, said he was recommended by Democratic Town Chairman Mario Testa.
Testa’s role in municipal hiring and appointments is often assumed, but it is unusual to find it documented. Testa in an interview following Kayo’s arrest said he did not know the doctor well and did not recall their conversation.
There is also a debate that preceded Kayo’s arrest about how far the city should go to vet volunteer commissioners. Nominees fill out applications with questions about work, education, military and criminal history. They are then subjected to a police criminal background checks and interviews with the ethics commission.
“… You want to have background checks that are sufficient. At the same time, you want to be able to move quickly,” (City Council President Tom) McCarthy said. “I think that we need to continue to do a robust criminal background check. But I just don’t see that we have the kind of staffing to be able to do full background checks on resumes of appointments to boards and commissions.”
Full story here.