In order to try and ensure that their chosen candidates are elected, they have supported these candidates with signs and "robo" calls costing so far, over $3,000. (See the APOA's Form 460 at the City Manager's office.) While under the "Citizens United" case, this is presumably legal, a concerned citizen would ask if conducting our Town election this way is in the interest of either the candidates or the union. The tactics of the APOA are short-sighted in light of Proposition 32 being on the ballot.
Should these candidates be elected they will have a perceived conflict of interest and would ethically recuse themselves from any involvement in contract negotiations with the Teamsters. This result is not a good scenario for either the union or the Town.
One question in the endorsement questionnaire that the APOA asked all candidates to complete was:
"Do you believe in protecting police officers' retirement plans and health benefits regardless of state and/or city budget deficits?"
One might first question the chutzpah of the union in asking such a question, including the phrase "regardless of state and/or city budget deficits." The answer to this question is supposedly confidential, but is there much doubt as to how these candidates answered? While the tactics of the APOA may be legal they are, in my opinion, unethical and the endorsed candidates have been tainted. These candidates have publicly stressed transparency and ethics. How much hypocritical behavior, even on the local level, does our society now condone?
This Atherton election should be about representing all residents on many difficult issues and not electing candidates who may be perceived to be in the pocket of any one interest group, including the APOA.