Town Charter: Duplication in Offices

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Re: Town Charter: Duplication in Offices

Post by steve on Mon Jul 21, 2008 8:41 pm

While it may be that there is no pecuniary interest involved, there is certainly a fiduciary interest in both the positions as Selectman and member of the Board of Directors for Med-Care (look it up). Since the contract between Med-Care and the Town of Rumford was executed by the Board of Selectmen, the Selectmen have a duty and fiduciary responsibility to the Town of Rumford. Likewise, the directors for Med-Care have a duty and fiduciary responsibility to their organization. For an individual to sit on both boards, he/she has now created a conflict of duty (look it up) and a fiduciary dilemma. It would seem that the prudent thing for the Selectmen to do is to appoint an individual empowered with the autonomy to independently serve on the Med-Care BOD.

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Re: Town Charter: Duplication in Offices

Post by KevinNSaisi on Mon Jul 21, 2008 9:01 pm

Steve,
The approval of the contract is the responsibility of the voters. This year the voters chose to delegate that authority to the Selectmen. Once they made their decision, their authority ended. The amendment that is being proposed will not come before the Selectmen. it will be put to the voters. As I stated earlier, the only decision that the Selectmen have is the appointment fo the represenatives.
Kevin
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Re: Town Charter: Duplication in Offices

Post by KevinNSaisi on Mon Jul 21, 2008 9:04 pm

Law.com finds no reference to "conflict of duty".
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Re: Town Charter: Duplication in Offices

Post by C on Mon Jul 21, 2008 10:43 pm

I would think whether the person in question is aware of it or not, being privy to both sides of negotiations and then being put in a position to vote on it could easily effect their objectivity.
I wouldn't think a person would want to put themselves, let alone be appointed to a public position where there could even be a whisper of impropriety.
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Re: Town Charter: Duplication in Offices

Post by C on Mon Jul 21, 2008 10:55 pm

I didn't realize the selectmen made no decisions regarding MedCare- if that is the case this whole subject is inconsequential... Lol, would have been nice if that was posted on page one....
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Re: Town Charter: Duplication in Offices

Post by KevinNSaisi on Tue Jul 22, 2008 6:39 am

It would be nice if people learned what they are talking about before they speak. I don't intend to come off as being mean spirited, but this is a problem with many of the posts on this board. If you take the time to learn the facts before expressing an opinion, we can save time and frustration.
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Re: Town Charter: Duplication in Offices

Post by steve on Tue Jul 22, 2008 7:03 am

KevinNSaisi wrote:Law.com finds no reference to "conflict of duty".

First: I agree that the contract is between Med-Care and the Town of Rumford, and I suspect that the Selectmen signed the contract on the town's behalf...which makes them an agent of the town in this case AND creates a fiduciary relationship.

From Wikipedia:

Relationships which routinely attract by law a fiduciary duty between certain classes of persons include these:

  • Trustee/beneficiary: Keech v Sandford[4]
  • Conservators/ wards
  • Agents, brokers or factors / principals: McKenzie v McDonald[5]
  • Confidential advisor / advisee
  • Lawyer/client: Sims v Craig Bell & Bond[6]
  • Executors or administrators / legatees or heirs
  • Corporate partners, joint adventurers, directors or officers / stockholders
  • Board of directors / company: Woolworths Ltd v Kelly[7]

Furthermore from Wikipedia:

Conflict of interest and duty
A fiduciary must not put himself in a position where his interest and duty conflict.[21] In other words, he must always serve the principal's interests, subjugating his own preference for those of the principal. The fiduciary's state of mind is irrelevant; that is, it does not matter whether the fiduciary had any ill-intent or dishonesty in mind....


Conflict of duty and duty
A fiduciary's duty must not conflict with another fiduciary duty.[22] Conflicts between one fiduciary duty and another fiduciary duty arise most often when a lawyer or an agent, such as a real estate agent, represent more than one client, and the interests of those clients conflict. This usually occurs when a lawyer attempts to represent both the plaintiff and the defendant in the same matter, for example. The rule comes from the logical conclusion that a fiduciary cannot make the principal's interests a top priority if he has two principals and their interests are diametrically opposed; he must balance the interests, which is not acceptable to equity. Therefore, the conflict of duty and duty rule is really an extension of the conflict of interest and duty rules.

Suffice it to say that no member of the Select board can also sit on the Med-Care board without creating an inequitable situation.

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Re: Town Charter: Duplication in Offices

Post by KevinNSaisi on Tue Jul 22, 2008 7:34 am

Steve,
The selectmen have sat on a number of quasi-municipal boards in the past. The reason this is being raised as an issue is because some people don't like Mark Belanger. If you want to see some conflict of interest, I would refer you to the financial records of the town for the past 20 years.

I did realize one financial link they have. They have to sign the warrant to issue the check to pay the assessment. However, if they failed to do so, it would constitute a breech of the contract. Mr. Belanger does not have the authority to withhold that payment on his own. However, this is not a personal financial link for Mr. Belanger. The examples sited involve situations where a person who has a personal financial interest is in a position to enhance his own financial well-being.

I really don't see this as a conflict. Med-Care has had a number of selectmen on the board, including its Chairman Steve Brown who serves as a Carthage Selectman. If anyone wants to push the issue, perhaps they should attend a Med-Care meeting.
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Re: Town Charter: Duplication in Offices

Post by steve on Tue Jul 22, 2008 9:41 am

Kevin,

As the saying goes, "I don't have a dog in this fight." I wouldn't know Mark Belanger or Frank DiConzo or Brad Adley or ...you, for that matter...if I met you or them on the street. My interests are purely sentimental since I no longer live in the River Valley. But it is my birthplace and home for the first 18 years of my life, and it bothers me that the internal strife has reached the point that it has. You will note that my posts do not favor any point of view over another (with the exception of the Fire Department suspensions, which are just plain WRONG). I try to offer clear, concise information about events, not people. There have always been points of contention in our town as there are in any small town. Nonetheless, my recollection of town government and its elected leaders was one of cooperation and civil debate even when the issue was contentious; case in point: development and construction of the "new" Rumford High School to replace Stephens. There were opposing forces back then, but the discussions and actions of those forces remained civil. These days it is rare to see any news article about Rumford that reflects the town in a positive light. That has to change before Rumford self-destructs.

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Re: Town Charter: Duplication in Offices

Post by T on Tue Jul 22, 2008 10:38 am

Steve,

As with you, I no longer live in Rumford and haven’t for thirty years. Until recently, I visited there on a regular basis, as my parents remained residents until their deaths. As with you, it is my birthplace and I maintain an interest in the town’s well being. I am now semi-retired and spend my summers nearby.

I remember the Rumford High School construction project well. Your description of the atmosphere surrounding this and other “contentious” projects is accurate. Times have changed and so has the atmosphere, but I don’t believe it’s unique to Rumford. I see it around the state and country. The leaders we elect do not possess a spirit of cooperation and the ability to work together toward a common goal. They do not represent the general population and bow to their special interest, political group. It’s “my way or the highway.” I partially fault the political “far left” and “far right” for creating this situation and the ability to quickly spread their venom, un-checked, via technology. Politically, most Americans are somewhere between the “far left” and the “far right” and their interests are being ignored.

It’s rare to see any news article about any town that reflects the town in a positive light. Some would argue that it’s due to a biased, agenda driven media. Maybe the media is just reporting what they see and hear.

T

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Re: Town Charter: Duplication in Offices

Post by Chuck on Tue Jul 22, 2008 11:21 am

T wrote:Steve,

It’s rare to see any news article about any town that reflects the town in a positive light. Some would argue that it’s due to a biased, agenda driven media. Maybe the media is just reporting what they see and hear.

T

I would argue that it is due to a "biased, agenda driven media". That media is TRR.
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Re: Town Charter: Duplication in Offices

Post by T on Tue Jul 22, 2008 12:15 pm

Chuck wrote:I would argue that it is due to a "biased, agenda driven media". That media is TRR.
I wouldn't include The Rumford Reporter in the media group. I would describe it as a "far right" organization spreading its venom, un-checked, via technology.

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Re: Town Charter: Duplication in Offices

Post by KevinNSaisi on Tue Jul 22, 2008 7:31 pm

Isn't most media now biased, agenda driven media? Look at Fox News, MSNBC, etc. Isn't the rumford reporter just a local version of the programming on those networks? Perhaps we need to compare like items. Isn't TRR as biased as the National Review?
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Re: Town Charter: Duplication in Offices

Post by T on Tue Jul 22, 2008 8:24 pm

There is a difference between a bias influencing what one publishes and publishing lies and/or making wild, unsubstantiated accusations.

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Re: Town Charter: Duplication in Offices

Post by KevinNSaisi on Tue Jul 22, 2008 9:07 pm

To which network are you referring? Very Happy

I think TRR is exactly like Rush Limbaugh. The question is, as an outsider, how do you know what is truth and what is lies on the national networks?? Were there WMDs in iraq?? Who was making up lies there? It was the President! In Rumford we have the left wing SJ verses the hyper-extreme rumford reporter. Who can you believe?? I certainly haven't been able to believe the SJ for some time.
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Re: Town Charter: Duplication in Offices

Post by steve on Wed Jul 23, 2008 6:06 am

It has been my experience that the truth tends to reside somewhere in the middle.

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Re: Town Charter: Duplication in Offices

Post by kels on Wed Jul 23, 2008 11:07 am

While the organization maybe quasi municipal - the Town appoints the position. The appointment is governed by the town rules even though the organization is run using it's own by-laws. I don't think it matters whether the organization is quasi-municipal, non-profit or government.
Rather than a conflict of interest it would make sense that the original intent of the rule was to ensure varied and representative opinions across different organizations and committees.
Isn't that what's wanted from all of our town representatives?
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Re: Town Charter: Duplication in Offices

Post by C on Thu Dec 04, 2008 10:05 pm

Here we go again- it just doesn't seem right with the population that we have, that we should repeatedly have the the same people on different boards. How can that work fairly?
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