Let me see if I understand this correctly. If a town councilor who is a “developer,” or who owns property that might be developed in the future, votes on a measure before the council which impacts development, there is a “conflict of interest?” By this logic, applied to Councilor Fred Chase in a recent article with regard to his having voted on a change to Falmouth zoning regulations, a councilor with children in the schools shouldn’t vote on school funding matters, and no councilor who owns property should vote on changes to property tax structure.
Of course, what this is about is an attempt by opponents, aided and abetted by The Forecaster, to derail a modest change to what had been a clearly overly burdensome, although well-intentioned, land use regulation. To do so with this kind of an ethics-based attack, dragging in members of Chase’s extended family, is offensive. If there actually was a real and immediate conflict, I’m sure Chase would have been the first to recognize it and recuse himself. We should be grateful that the consideration of an issue such as this involves someone like Chase, who does own property in Falmouth, has been involved in development of it, and understands the reality of regulations that for others are mere abstractions. Frankly, why good people would serve as he does in the face of such nonsense, is beyond me.