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House of Representatives
Session of 2013 - 2014 Regular Session


Posted: January 9, 2013 09:27 AM
From: Representative Phyllis Mundy
To: All House members
Subject: Reintroduction of Legislation: Requiring appointing authorities to select alternates in cases of conflicts of interests (Formerly HBs 1414 & 1415 of the 2011-2012 Legislative Session)
I will soon reintroduce legislation to address an oversight in state law pertaining to conflicts of interest.

Last session, a township zoning hearing board member in my district had a conflict of interest in a matter before the board. Current law prohibited him from voting on the matter unless there was a tie between the other two zoning board members. At that time, he could vote to break the tie. I find it unacceptable that a member of a board who recuses himself for a conflict of interest could still vote on the matter in this circumstance.

Simply put, if you have a conflict of interest, you should not be allowed to vote on that pending matter. I plan to reintroduce two pieces of legislation to address this oversight in state law.

Document #1

Introduced as HB698

Description: The first bill (previously HB 1414) would amend the Municipalities Planning Code of 1968 to require the appointing authority to select a temporary replacement for a zoning hearing board member if he or she has a voting conflict in a particular proceeding. The alternate would only be appointed for that particular matter before the board.

Document #2

Introduced as HB699

Description: The second bill (previously 1415) which addresses this issue on a larger scale, amends Title 65 (Public Officers) by providing for alternate voting members for governing bodies/boards across the Commonwealth.
I believe these bills are good government bills that encourage transparency and fairness from the bottom up.