[Vision2020] conflict of interest

Joan Opyr auntiestablishment at hotmail.com
Fri Aug 6 14:01:44 PDT 2004

Darrell writes:

>1.  I find it disturbing that a man is being raked through the mud  
>simply because he is a member of a church that has a pastor with some odd  
>views . . . Paul is being castigated for being a member of Christ Church  
>and, undeniably, making one bad decision in not removing himself from a  
>Commissioner vote. Does knowing Paul Kimmell attends Christ Church allow us  
>to accurately infer everything else about him?

Hello, Darrell, and welcome to posting.  It's good to hear fresh voices on the list; things had begun to get a bit stale around here.  I was thinking we needed to change the cage litter or buy a new wheel or maybe a salt lick.

Melynda has summed up the concerns about Paul clearly and succinctly, so I won't repeat them.  The questions raised are serious and worrisome; no one, no matter what church he or she attends, should fail to see that there is an ethical (if not a legal) conflict of interest inherent in acting as a land agent for Christ Church (or the Catholic Church, or the Methodists, or the Quakers) and also voting to grant that same church tax exemptions for related businesses.  I also find it hard to believe that if the president of the Chamber of Commerce were a Mormon, only Christ Church applicants would have been hired to work in the Chamber office.  Questioning Paul's actions doesn't reek of religious persecution to me, but I do detect a whiff of "old boy network" in some of Paul's defenders.

Another point: while personal testimonials are nice -- I've met Paul once or twice, and he is indeed a pleasant, friendly, agreeable man -- they're really not relevant to the issues at hand.  This is a small town.  We're obliged to behave a little differently in Moscow than we would in, say, New York.  Here, if you're rude to the waitress at Applebee's, it might come back to haunt you when you find that her mother is sitting on your hiring committee at the U of I.  Does this mean that we're better than the average New Yorker, more honest, more trustworthy?  Are we above reproach?  Probably not.  What our proximity to one another does is make us more cautious about leveling criticism.  We want to make sure that it doesn't come back to bite us on the butt.  If I had business before the county or the chamber, I'd think twice about ticking off Paul.  In light of the Christ Church meeting minutes, I'd also think twice about ticking off Doug   

This is the problem at hand; this is what puts the "conflict" in conflict of interest.  When I voted for county commissioners, Doug and Christ Church weren't on the ballot.  If that, in fact, is what I got, then I want to know it, and next time around, I want the ballot to be clearly marked: Democrat, Republican, and Dog in the Manger.   

Joan Opyr/Auntie Establishment Get more from the Web.  FREE MSN Explorer download : http://explorer.msn.com
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