Today’s Courant has an interesting, and well done, story about town council member Barbara Carpenter’s bid to become the next president of the West Hartford Education Association, the teacher’s union here.
Carpenter, a political independent, told the paper she’ll step down from the council if she wins the part-time union job. She’s a kindergarten teacher at Braeburn.
“There would be a conflict of interest if I were on the council and I was serving both groups. Ethically, it would be wrong for me to do that,” Carpenter told reporter Daniel P. Jones of the Courant, who deserves a nod of thanks for laying this story out completely.
There’s a chance someone else will win the teacher’s union job – Brenda Key, a third grade teacher at Duffy is trying to snag it, too – but if Carpenter wins it, the council faces an unusual issue: how to replace an independent? Normally, the members of council who hail from the same party pick a successor when someone resigns mid-term. But there are no other independents on the council, just six Democrats and two Republicans.
Pat Alair, the town’s deputy corporation counsel, told the Courant that anyone on the council will be able to nominate a successor as long as the nominee is not a registered Democrat. By state law, there can be no more than six members of any one part on the 9-person council.
That opens the door to all kinds of mischief and fun. I hope the Courant reports on it in detail.