I’ve got to make something right.
As you can see in the comments on my “Froth” diary, which I wrote in haste, I’ve had time to regret in my leisure.
Relying solely on the Stowe Reporter’s account of the meeting, and my seasoned distrust for the motives of local government, I seized on the wrong take-away.
I think I owe Brian Leven a bigger apology.
What I should have been doing was celebrating Mr. Leven’s instinct to recuse himself from deliberations on the applications of his friends.
Though it was simply the proper thing to do, in actual fact, recusal under such non-statutory terms as “friendship” (which we all know can be a powerful influence) is so rare in local Vermont deliberations, that I could not find a single other instance.
It’s quite a big deal and actually makes effective, in this single instance, the practice of self-determination that is built into most conflict of interest codes. Usually, the board member judges him or herself to have no conflict of interest and forgoes recusal.
That Mr. Leven is our Deputy Secretary of State may explain this heart-warming anomaly. Or, we may have simply gotten lucky and found the “one honest man.”