Mayor calls for Aldermen to advance ethics ordinance amendments

On November 8, 2012, in Latest News, by The Somerville Times

Amendments proposed on Aug. 16 would require recipients of city-administered grant funds to adopt formal ethics codes; New law would extend city’s audit oversight to grantees and give city legal authority to suspend funding or demand repayment

Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone today called on the Board of Aldermen to take up a proposal he submitted on August 16  that would expand the city’s abilities to require grant recipients to adopt conflict-of-interest codes similar to those that govern municipal officials.  The proposed changes to the city’s existing ordinance (Chapter 15) would also give the city direct audit oversight over grantees as well as explicit authority to suspend disbursements to, and recover funds from, organizations that violate the provisions of the ordinance.

“Similar to government officials, executives and managers in organizations that accept taxpayer funding have ethical obligations to avoid conflicts of interest that allow family members to gain directly from their spending,” said Mayor Curtatone. “We’re asking organizations that administer taxpayer-funded grants or trust funds to develop and publish their own conflict-of-interest policies – or simply to apply the city’s policies to their employees. We’re also seeking to send a clear message to grant recipients that we will require them to be open and transparent financially, and that we will withdraw support from organizations that cannot meet these standards.”

“Especially as we establish municipal trust funds for special initiatives – SomerPromise is a good example – the public has a right to expect that we will hold program administrators to clear ethical and accounting standards,” said Ward 7 Alderman Bob Trane.  “This is a change that I’ve been pushing for a while and I was happy to co-sponsor the mayor’s draft language.  I think this reform will be popular with my fellow aldermen, and I’m looking forward to the discussion in Legislative Matters Committee.”

 “The federal and state agencies that provide grant funds still have the final call on auditing and regulating their use, but we think these changes will help protect the city’s, and the taxpayers interests whenever grant recipients find ways to profit illicitly from public funding,” Curtatone said.  A copy of the policy is publicly available as Agenda Item 193631 on the Board of Aldermen’s online public information portal,


5 Responses to “Mayor calls for Aldermen to advance ethics ordinance amendments”

  1. noabitya says:

    Another good job by Alderman Trane, I am glad he is our ward alderman.
    Now on the other side…the Mayor….

    “but we think these changes will help protect the City’s, and the taxpayers interests whenever grant recipients find ways to profit illicitly from public funding,” Curtatone said.”

    Oh if he would only practice what he said. Funds missing under his watch…Traffic & Parking, etc. Have gone under his own “in house” investigations resulting in no one in his administration being held responsible and the money remains unaccounted for. Plus his “Bond” adventures at our expense to bail developers. The Mayor does a horrible job at fiscal responsiblity. His buddy’s at the yacht clubs better stand by for rescue duty as Joe’s ship is sinking and pulling the taxpayers down.

  2. This link goes directly to the legislation:

  3. Harry says:

    Kind of comical they decide to promote this stuff now. The ship has done sailed on the city’s fiscal mess and corruption. Joey “tickets” is going to jump ship saying he did all this Kumbaya-feel-good crap for the city (well.. the liberal nitwits who now reside here) while never mentioning all he really did was spend money we don’t have and never will. I feel for the next SOB who becomes mayor – he/she/it will inherit a disaster.

    At some point these politicians have to stop kicking the can down the road as eventually you run out of road.

  4. Dicky Bird says:

    That’s what they said about Kelly Gay! so in the end my friend what do we have {many day’s older and so, so, much deeper in Dept}. SHE was not so bad in the end.

  5. noabitya says:

    Yes, like the State Ethics Commission is an outright scam. There was a charge of conflict of interest with some cities personnel involved with helping choose the ambulance company to cover their cities. You get charged for the ambulance when it picks you up but each city must also pay a fee for the ambulance company to guarantee to provide the city with coverage, the cost could be $100K, $200K, or more.

    They recently hit two different cities fire chiefs with $1500 & $3000 fines for accepting Patriots game tickets from Cataldo Ambulance…YET they did not go after any of the Mayors who also received tickets nor Cataldo
    Ambulance who provided the tickets. The Attorney General should have gotten involved yet did not….. Surprised????

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