Time to Move On: E-mail Controversy Underscores the Need to Focus on the Future of Revere

June 15, 2011
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Two weeks ago, the Journal broke the story and brought to light the specifics about the alleged unethical use of the city’s web site and city owned computers by city employees.

Candidate for Mayor George Rotondo deserves credit for bringing the issue to light.

In the first instance, the use of the city’s website, the Ethics Commission has decided to forgo an investigation and has instead ordered that the city conduct a seminar for its employees regarding ethics and election laws regarding the use of city owned computers by city employees and what they can and cannot do regarding local politics.

In the second instance, the city solicitor has gone on record as sending to the Ethics Commission and to the Office of Campaign Finance more than a dozen political e-mails city employees apparently sent to other city employees on their city owned computers during working hours.

We await the outcome of the investigations that are allegedly ongoing from those two watchdog organizations. Neither agency would comment on the matter and do not as a rule comment either way on investigations being conducted or not.

That being said, there is a new awareness at city hall about what employees are allowed to do and are not allowed to do with their city owned computers. “Shame on the employees for not knowing what is right and wrong,” Mayor Thomas Ambrosino said two weeks ago when the story first broke.

E-mail is the new way of mass communication between people of all ages.

People in the private sector are using their computers at work to perform personal tasks or to communicate personal messages.

Although there are ethics and campaign laws governing the use of city owned computers by city employees, it must be noted that using one’s computer for whatever personal or political reason doesn’t constitute a felony unless, of course, something felonious has been accomplished as a result of the communication.

The use of city computers in Revere city hall for political purposes has effectively been put to an end by the recent revelations made by Rotondo and by articles in the Journal detailing possible violations.

What comes out of this hopefully is the adherence to unified rules and regulations governing the use of city owned computers and the Internet.

With the e-mail situation under control and city hall computer users set for their education day on July 6 from the Ethics Commission, it is time to move on from this issue.

More importantly for the next five months,  we should look for a mayoral campaign that will focus on a new vision for this city.

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