HAMILTON – Mayoral candidate Barbara Plumeri is seeking to get out in front of the ethical issues in the aftermath of disgraced former Mayor John Bencivengo’s conviction for bribery.
The Democratic candidate said that if elected, she would present a 7-point ethics pledge that would have to be signed by the mayor, all appointed and at-will public employees and members of municipal boards and commissions.
“Hamilton Township taxpayers should never have to worry that their hard-earned money is going towards enriching the well-connected, rather than towards creating a better quality of life for every resident of our community,” she said in a release.
Bencivengo resigned after his conviction last month. Republican Hamilton Councilwoman Kelly Yaede was named the new mayor.
This is the text of the pledge that Plumeri said she would have employees sign.
As a public servant, my primary responsibility is to act unequivocally in the interest of the residents of Hamilton Township.
Because I have the privilege of serving the public and because they have entrusted me with fiduciary responsibility, I solemnly pledge to:
1. Avoid any interest, financial or otherwise, or engage in any transaction that is in conflict with my official duties;
2. Refrain from conflicts of interest by refusing to represent a non-municipal party in a matter before the government in any official or private capacity that is not in accordance with my public duties;
3. Refuse gifts and payments from interested parties by refraining from soliciting or accepting anything of monetary value from those who are doing or seeking to do any business with any level of government in Mercer County.
4. Refuse outside payment for government work by not soliciting or accepting payment or gifts from outside interests in exchange for discharging my official municipal duties;
5. Avoid perceptions of preferential treatment by refusing to solicit business on behalf of any vendor at any level of government, whether officially or unofficially;
6. Protect confidential information by refraining from sharing non-public information, unless mandated as part of my official duties;
7. Report illegal conduct by any public official to the appropriate authorities as soon as I witness it occurring.
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“Receiving $74,000 in severance pay is entirely inappropriate and unjustifiable. No elected official is entitled to sick or vacation time. You don’t put out your hand and beg, you raise your hand and say ‘Thank God I was healthy.' There’s no reason for anyone to collect money on the way out the door or for overtime.” - Council President Andre Sayegh, candidate for Paterson mayor.- PolitickerNJ.com
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