April 02, 2006

Neuman speaks out on ethics complaint

Yesterday I received a letter from the Town of Mount Airy Ethics Commission releasing me from any confidentiality on the allegations pertaining to me. Up until this formal release from the Ethics Commission, I have been powerless to defend myself against these vicious leaks of this allegation before the Ethics Commission has concluded their work.

I would like to offer you my statement on the allegation being considered by the Ethics Commission.

I believe this complaint, now leaked to the press, is a low mudslinging attempt to discredit and gag me in my duties as a Town of Mount Airy Planning & Zoning commission member and now as a candidate for Town Council. A disenfranchised resident of the town has alleged that I have a conflict of interest in the execution of my duties as a voluntary member of the Planning & Zoning Commission when considering matters that involve a single developer, which I am not social with, nor have I ever been.

The complaint has a strong presumption of guilt and goes so far as to expect disciplinary action without any findings from our Ethics Commission. This is a baseless allegation with nothing more than information from an education website to support their presumption of guilt and base the allegation on.

Previously I hunted on a corner of a farm a developer owns to help control the deer (doe) population to reduce crop damage. This is the developer's only property I have hunted on and have harvested one doe to date. I hunted this property for three years and this year I stopped hunting it altogether. I have permission to hunt over a dozen other properties through out Carroll, Frederick, and Montgomery counties. The vast majority of the time I hunt these other properties and presently have a preference for hunting in Rockville to cull deer herds in neighborhoods as a favor for friends. I am an avid bow hunter, which is well suited for culling deer in these neighborhoods. I hunt on public lands and private properties and on no occasion do I pay to hunt these lands or hunt land where others are charged to do so. The fact that the developer has never charged anyone to hunt on his land was verified for the Ethics Commission.

I have been a volunteer on our Planning & Zoning commission since 2001 and have a mixed record in voting for annexation recommendations, as well as against them, including properties for this developer. Moreover, I have no financial interest in any town entity, nor have I ever. It has always been my sincerest wish to serve.

I also have every confidence that the Ethics Commission will find this complaint to be baseless and without merit. This is nothing more than a witch-hunt where I am to be burned at the stake for disagreeing with a vocal minority in our town. These tactics will not intimidate me into withdrawing from my volunteer post on our Planning & Zoning Commission or running for Town Council. Nor will these attempts to impugn my integrity discourage me from serving in the community that I have chosen to live in and raise my family.

Jay Neuman Mount Airy

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