Below you will find Mr. Hewitt's response to our questions regarding the change to the ethics committee.
We would like to thank Council Member Hewitt for the quick attention given to Accessmilton.com readers after the initial email was sent.
1. I am of the opinion that the Citizen Ethics Board was never going to be able to do it's job without a cloud of doubt being cast over their findings. I had the utmost confidence in my appointees (and the others) on the Board could be fair and impartial. Even with that confidence, the members had a chance to be placed in tough situations. Situations where you know both of the parties involved, where they could be deciding a case against the very person who appointed you or other situations that just don't sit well. Having an independent, outside, third party board will help ease those concerns. Hopefully this board will not be called upon to act, but if it does, we have tried to erase politics out of the equation.
2. While our previous board was talented and made up of people from various professional backgrounds, they did not practice law (with an exception one or two). Having a board made up of legal professionals, who "do this every day" will make these procedures flow more quickly. This new group shouldn't have to be counseled by our City Attorney nor require as much staff time. I liken it to a home improvement project that you try to tackle yourself, but in the end could have saved money by hiring a professional.
3. As far as I am concerned, I had no problems with the persons I appointed to serve on the Board. They were