Conflict of interest charter amendment going to voters

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OLD TOWN – The city council recently voted to send a proposed city charter amendment to voters to reduce potential conflicts of interest.

The issue first was raised more than a year ago, when Lori Smart was still on the council and her husband Kyle was serving as captain of the Old Town Police Department. Some councilors, while acknowledging that Smart had been a good councilor and there had been no conflicts while she was serving, wondered if the potential for public perception of conflicts existed.

The issue became moot in the case of the Smarts when Lori Smart resigned last winter and Kyle Smart retired a few months later, but councilors continued to discuss a vote on a charter amendment that could limit who could and couldn’t run in future elections. They eventually settled on an amendment that, if enacted, would prohibit residents of Old Town from serving as members of the city council only if they are married to the city manager or a department head,

The vote on the proposed charter amendment will appear on Nov. 3’s ballot.