As to whether or not an official wants to abstain after disclosure is strictly his or her business and frequently turns on that particular person's own judgment of what is right and what is wrong. Arguably, the aforementioned budget committee members who lived In Kearsage Village did not have to abstain from the vote for road betterment. By choosing to do so, they removed all doubt.
Let's consider adding disclosure to our policies. Let's do it regardless of the nature of the conflict. Let's put it all on the table. As a minimum, let's get rid of the term "hidden agendas."
"I have found that being honest is the best technique I can use. Right up front, tell people what you're trying to accomplish." Lee Iacocca
Ted Sares, PhD, is a private investor who lives and writes in the White Mountain area of Northern New Hampshire with his wife Holly and Min Pin Jackdog. He writes a weekly column for a local newspaper and many of his other pieces are widely published. Ted has been elected to a number of Municipal positions both in Massachusetts and New Hampshire and has served on the Board of several prominent non-profit organizations. He is currently on the Board of Trustees of the Conway Public, NH Library.