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Cunningham proposes new draconian ethics policy

Nov 05

At the working meeting on November 4th, James Cunningham followed through on a vague reference in the October 21st legislative meeting regarding a revised ethics policy.

He passed around his suggested revisions in a document, which is quoted verbatim here, outlining the following policies which applies to members of Media Borough boards and commissions:

  • Ban from participation from any political activity
  • Ban from contribution to any party or organization which “supports or sponsors” candidates for office in Media
  • Ban from participating in any activity (publicly advocating a position, signing a petition) which promotes or opposes any political issue:
    • for the commission they serve on, or
    • involves candidates for election to political offices within Media
  • Ban from participating within any political party which supports any candidates in Borough elections
  • Ban from involvement in any public forums of Borough government agencies to oppose or advocate for a political party

The document then outlines a policy which applies to “Appointed Officials” of boards, commissions or committees and contracted professional service professionals must:

  • Refrain from active political participation within Media Borough, and
  • Abstain from voting on issues which would be a conflict of interest

The document concludes by stating that violation of these guidelines would be penalized by a warning, suspension from their position, and finally termination.

Stay tuned for comments from Borough Council members and political party leaders!


  1. Chickadee /

    I understand the intent of this measure. Ideally, we would have non-partisan committees and boards. Realistically, Media is a small enough town that it would be pretty tough to follow. Many people who are active in government or volunteering for the town have political opinions and have acted on those opinions in some way. Contractors should be hired by the Council in a non-partisan way based on their merit for the job at hand. In other words, if there isn’t already, there should be a guideline that the Borough Council will not appoint or hire board or committee persons, or contractors, on the basis of their politics, race, color, creed, sexual preferences, etc. If Council members can’t be productive with folks who are in a different political party then them, then those councilpersons don’t deserve the job.

    • David J. Palmer /

      This code of silence was proposed because at the Council meeting when the citizens of Media excoriated the cabal and a volunteer official DARED to take issue with the authortarian actions of the usurpers.
      Mr. Cunningham would appear to have VERY thin skin and be perfectly willing to deny OTHERS their Constitutionally mandated rights of protected speech while whinning about delussional threats to his own.

  2. David J. Palmer /

    It would appear that Mr. Cunningham holds nothing but contempt for the Constitutional Rights of citizens who work for FREE to better our community if they in any way deviate from HIS point of view.

  3. David J. Palmer /

    Is there a code of conduct that ELECTED officials must abide by?

  4. Barry Sherwin /

    Mr. Cunningham’s proposals for changes in Media’s ethics rules do not – in my opinion as a non-lawyer – meet constitutional standards. I believe these proposals are a violation of the right to free association.

    It is also not practical from an enforcement point of view, but more importantly, it is restrictive of participatory democracy. You cannot separate politics from policy. We may not always like what this means, but it is the only system we have. It is only natural that elected officials are inclined to appoint people who share their policy positions.

    The business of these boards and commissions is open for every one in the community to have a voice. Transparency is the key, as everyone says. And the people have a right to vote for a change in the next election.

    Mr. Cunningham is trying to wish away politics. And I can empathize with that. But, it just isn’t that way.

    Barry Sherwin
    Former council member

    • David J. Palmer /

      Mr. Cunningham is trying to do more then WISH away politics. Mr. Cunningham is trying to OUTLAW peoples Constitutional rights, if they don’t agree with him.