Conflicts of interest demand serious look | Letter to the editor

To the editor:

I attended the League of Women Voters Bainbridge City Council Candidates’ Forum. One question was, “Do you have any conflicts of interest and, if so, what would you do to address them?”

Several candidates acknowledged that conflicts of interest can arise and that they would be alert for this and recuse themselves. One candidate gave a specific example of an instance where this had happened and recusal was appropriate.

However, several candidates stated that they have “no conflicts of interest” and did not address how they would handle them if they did occur.

This is a small island with a higher than average potential for conflicts of interest. Parents, siblings, other relatives, friends or neighbors may have a vested interest in a decision being made by our council members. Understanding and being on the lookout for potential conflicts of interest is important in preserving credibility and confidence in our city council. I was disappointed that some candidates didn’t seem to understand the seriousness of the question and would hope that this is more carefully considered by all candidates moving forward.

CAROLYN BURGER

Bainbridge Island

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