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Ethics Board Changes in Walkersville

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townsealDuring the July 8, 2015 meeting of the Town of Walkersville’s Burgess and Commissioners, the Ethics Board received a lot of attention.

One member, Tarolyn Thrasher, stepped down from the Ethics Board. She no longer lives in Walkersville.

Burgess Ralph Whitmore nominated Ron Layman, a longtime resident who operated a painting business in town. The Commissioners unanimously approved of the appointment.

After the appointment was approved, Burgess Whitmore asked that the Town’s attorney spend time with the Ethics Board for training. He stated that the board “does not know what they are doing.”

Continuing with the Ethics Board, Burgess Whitmore informed Commissioners that Benjamin Douds, the chair of the Economic Development Commission (EDC), had failed to file his Ethics form. Town Manager Gloria Long Rollins updated the Burgess and Commissioners that the form was filed that day. Whitmore said it was due March 30, 2015, and multiple letters and phone calls were made to get the form.

Commissioner Donald Schildt moved to remove Mr. Douds from the EDC. Commissioner Debbie Zimmerman felt that they should leave him on because he complied.

Mrs. Rollins said that the Ethics Board voted to recommend Mr. Douds be removed from the Economic Development Commission. So, she sent a message “Final Attempt” on July 2, 2015 informing him of their recommendation.

Commissioner Russ Winch felt that the message conveyed that Mr. Douds had a final chance to file the ethics form.

The vote to remove Mr. Douds failed.

In response, Commissioner Weddle moved to refer future issues to the Ethics Board. He noted that the Town Code gives the Ethics Board the power to fine an individual $2 per day up to $250 for failing to file the form on time. The Commissioners agreed that the issue belongs with the Ethics Board.

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