Apologies to Brian Leven

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.”  

About Sue Prent

Artist/Writer/Activist living in St. Albans, Vermont with my husband since 1983. I was born in Chicago; moved to Montreal in 1969; lived there and in Berlin, W. Germany until we finally settled in St. Albans.

One thought on “Apologies to Brian Leven

  1. I have a lot of appreciation for the work of our local Development Review Board (and similar positions).  They regularly take a lot of heat from neighbors for simply applying the rules those neighbors voted into place.  I’m glad Mr. Leven spoke up and prompted your revised post.

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