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Opinion

March 11, 2014

In your opinion: Statements brought character into question

My integrity is very important to me, and the article about the dog warden issue in Butternuts on Feb. 28 made statements that bring my good character into question. Clarification of some overlooked facts may help: 

• There is no conflict of interest in simultaneously serving as both board member and dog warden if a simple local law is passed to allow it. Call any state agency and ask.

• A clear majority of the residents wanted me to serve in both capacities and supported the local law that would allow it. Seventy-four percent of the letters submitted at the hearing supported the law. For two months written and verbal support poured in. This was not about me, it was what most residents wanted, and I was elected to represent them.

• I offered seven different compromises to avoid even perceived conflict, including doing the job for free or donating the salary to local animal welfare projects. All compromise was rejected.

• I did not vote to “appoint myself as dog warden.” The motion was “temporary ... unpaid” until we could find a candidate from the town who could be appointed permanently. Even so, I soon realized it might still appear inappropriate and I informed everyone that I would not act as even a temporary dog warden.

• When no other town resident stepped forward for the job, we made a motion and unanimously voted to appoint Liz Fish from out of town as DCO. We support her fully.

• At least three board members never received input from the town lawyer. We acted according to our own good ethics and in the best interests of the town.

It is my sincere wish that with these clarifications we can consider this issue resolved and get on with the good work of the town.

Scot Lueck

Butternuts

Lueck is a member of the Butternuts Town Board. 

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