And Now, the Bad News
After our morning breakfast of puppy dogs and ice cream, we're enjoying an early lunch of disgruntlement, based on Councilor Dean Tran's landlord petition being sent to study.
First, we think Tran's proposal was worthy of passage, and offered another tool for the city to root out bad landlords. To repeat past arguments, this wouldn't be a problem for good landlords who already follow the rules, and there would be no new standards for these guys to meet. The fees were ridiculously insignificant and not a road block.
More importantly, opposition came last night from Councilors Thomas Donnelly and Norman Boisvert. These guys are both landlords in the city. If we're not mistaken, that means this issue effects the councilors and their private business. If we're not mistaken again, that means they have a conflict of interest in this matter. Certainly the way they voted puts their business interests ahead of the city's interests.
Simply, Donnelly and Boisvert should have sat this one. No commentary, certainly no voting. For them to do so is a breach of ethics and sends the message they care more about their business than the city. We've sat in local government meetings is over a half-dozen communities and probably three times that many boards in the last 10 years, and we've seen officials recuse themselves for far less, taking the appropriate thinking that the mere appearance of conflict is a conflict. Donnelly's and Boisvert's involvement in this matter was inappropriate and not in the best interests of the city.