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Posted on: May 20, 2020

Ethics Ordinance Amendment adopted 5/19/20

On May 19, 2020 the Bar Harbor Town Council adopted the following amendment to the Municipal Code. The amendment takes effect June 18, 2020. A copy has been filed in the Town Clerk’s office.

Ethics Ordinance Amendment
Town of Bar Harbor
#2020-03

An amendment to clarify conflict of interest.

The Town of Bar Harbor hereby ordains that Chapter 78 Ethics of the Town Code is amended as follows:

[Please Note: Old language is stricken.  New language is underlined.]

CHAPTER 78 – ETHICS
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Article II: Code of Ethics
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§78-12 Conflicts of Interest.
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C. Determination of conflict. Once the issue of conflict has been raised relative to an individual member and disclosure has been made as provided above, such individual’s fellow members shall review the facts as disclosed to them and shall vote on whether or not such individual has a financial or special interest, or the appearance of a conflict of interest, with respect to the agenda item concerned. All conflict of interest questions relating to a particular agenda item shall be resolved prior to any consideration of the item concerned, and each member present, except the individual member who is alleged to have a conflict of interest, shall vote on all conflict of interest questions.

    (1) All votes of conflict of interest questions shall be recorded. A majority of those present and voting shall determine the question.

    (2) Upon determination that a conflict of interest in fact exists, the member concerned shall be excused from participating as a member in discussion, deliberation or vote on the relevant agenda item at that meeting and at all future meetings, unless the conflict is resolved, and shall remove themselves from the meeting room as provided below.

    (3) In the event that a majority of the agency, or subcommittee thereof, shall require disclosure of further information not immediately available or shall require confirmation of the information disclosed, consideration of the relevant agenda item shall be postponed to an appropriate time.

    (4) As provided by the Maine Freedom of Access Act, an agency may enter executive session to discuss a potential conflict of interest, but only upon a motion "to go into executive session as permitted by 1 M.R.S.A. § 405.6.A for discussion or consideration of a potential conflict of interest, since open discussion could reasonably be expected to casecause damage to the reputation of the individual or infringe on the individual’s right to privacy."

D. Influence prohibited. Once a member is determined to have a conflict of interest in respect to any agenda item and once all conflict of interest questions relating to the agenda item concerned have been determined as provided above, said individual shall immediately  leave his/her seat at the table and shall not vote, participate in the deliberation, or otherwise take part in the decision making process remove themselves from the meeting room and the sight of the remaining members to prevent their real or apparent influence. Recused members shall not return to their regular seat nor to the meeting room until deliberation and action on the item is completed.

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 [End of Ordinance]

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