The accounts in the papers about Village energy contracts bring forth much information without explanation, which I intend to supply. In any convergency between an official's personal and public business, there exists a conflict of interest whether recognized or not. Thus, elected and appointed individuals are often unaware of conflicts of interest between their personal and public activities. There is nothing wrong with a conflict of interest so long as conflicted individuals excuse themselves from discussing and voting further on related matters. Not excusing themselves and insisting that there is not a conflict leaves them open to punitive legal action. Obviously, before they are sworn in, newly elected officials should be made aware of laws and procedures with which they must comply to properly fulfill their responsibilities. Our officials are essentially volunteers who need far more than just common sense to do their job properly for the benefit of the citizens of the village. Mayors should be persuasive leaders, not stupidly demanding ones, as I see in the current case. The public noise and confusion over our mayor shooting himself in the foot and then blaming his staff makes our village government appear to be unable to govern even itself, much less the village.
David R. Cornell