Nepotism must be avoided to protect board's integrity

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At the Grayson County Board of Supervisors meeting Feb. 18, the three members opposing zoning (Brewer, Sexton, and Rosenbaum) voted to defeat an anti-nepotism policy.
John Brewer said that his brother, sister, or uncle should be able to serve on a county board. Mr. Brewer’s opinion and the vote against the anti-nepotism measure raise serious questions regarding the judgment of the three supervisors who voted to defeat the policy
Nepotism in the public sphere must be avoided at all costs to protect citizens’ belief in the integrity of both elected and appointed officials.
An anti-nepotism policy may mean that some qualified individuals do not get the chance to serve, but it is far more important that government officials avoid both actual conflicts of interest and the appearance of conflicts of interest.
People must have absolute confidence that their representatives are making decisions that are in the general public interest — not in the interest of family and friends.
Appointing one’s relatives to official positions is a clear conflict of interest even if no material benefit accrues to either the appointing official or the appointee.
It just does not look good, even if there is no evidence of wrongdoing. The mere act of appointing one’s relatives to official positions cannot help but undermine public confidence in the honesty and integrity of the three supervisors who think nepotism is acceptable in any form.
There are over 15,000 people living in Grayson County.  We can certainly find among this population enough people qualified and available to serve on county boards who are not related to any of the supervisors.
Nancy J. Liebrecht