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Published: Sunday 28 July, 2013

michael kors purses michael kors purses Elected officials have one master

Court of Appeal ruling on conflict of interest that could catch many local politicians in its net.

The ruling says elected officials who are directors of nonprofit societies could be in a conflict of interest even if they dont directly benefit financially from issues they vote on. Its an important caution for those who want to run f michael kors purses or office, and we must hope it doesnt dissuade active community members from stepping up at election time.

The ca michael kors purses se is from Saltspring Island, where Christine Torgrimson and George Ehring were elected trustees of the Salt Spring Island Local Trust Committee, the threemember body that decides on landuse issues.

In 2011, they were also directors of the newly formed Salt Spring Island Water Council Society and Salt Spring Island Climate Action Council Society. In September of that year, as members of the island trust committee, they voted in favour of giving the water council $4,000 to fund a workshop to raise awareness of water issues on Saltspring. The following month, they approved a $4,000 contract to the Climate Action Society for a progress report on greenhouse gases.

A group of 15 island residents went to court, saying the pair had violated conflictofinterest sections of the Community Charter. The charter says that any council member who has a direct or indirect pecuniary interest in the matter, or another interest in the matter that constitutes a conflict of interest, must declare it and leave the room while the matter is being debated.

Anyone who breaks the rule can be declared ineligible to run in the next election. Supreme Court, Justice Brian MacKenzie rejected the residents claim on the grounds that neither of the committee members gained any personal financial benefit from the money given to the societies.

However, the appeal court ruled that he interpreted the law too narrowly. Appeal Court Justice Ian Donald said directors of societies and other types of corporations are required to serve them loyally and act honestly and in good faith and in the best interests of the society.

That duty can create a conflict with their duty to serve the best interests of the voters.

When they voted for the expenditure of public money on the two contracts, which master were they serving, the public or the societies? Donald wrote.

Harsh as it might seem, the appealcourt ruling follows what most voters would see as a conflict of interest. Voting to give a contract to your familys company is an obvious conflict because you stand to make money from it. But voters are also concerned that particular groups in the community dont get special consideration.

Th michael kors purses ey also want to know that everyone who comes before a council has a fair chance to be heard. Someone coming before the trust committee with a concern about water might think Torgrimson and Ehrings minds were already made up on the issue.

Many people who run for office get their start in community organizations. Their knowledge, experience and commitment make them good candidates. It would be a loss to all of us if such people decided not to run for fear of conflict rules.

However, if they want to run, they should give up leadership roles in outside organizations and declare any possible conflicts, so voters have, as Donald wrote, the undivided loyalty of their elected officials. michael kors purses