Code of Ethics
Code of Ethics
- Declaration of Policy - The proper operation of our government requires that public office and employees be independent, impartial and responsible to the people; that governmental decisions and policy be made in the proper channels and that the public have confidence in the integrity of its government. In recognition of those goals, there is hereby established a Code of Ethics for all officials and employees, whether elected or appointed, paid or unpaid. The purpose of this code is to establish ethical standards by setting forth those acts or actions that are incompatible with the best interests of the city.
- Responsibilities of Public Office - Public officials and employees are agents of public purpose and hold office for the benefit of the public. They are bound to uphold the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of this State and to carry out impartially the laws of the nation, state, and city and thus to foster respect for all government. They are bound to observe in their official acts the highest standards of morality and to discharge faithfully the duties of their office regardless of personal considerations, recognizing that the long term public interest must be their primary concern. Their conduct in both their official and private affairs should be above reproach.
- Dedicated Service - All officials and employees of the city should be responsive to the political objectives expressed by the electorate and the programs developed to attain those objectives. Appointive officials and employees should adhere to the rule of work and performance established as the standard for their positions by the appropriate authority.
Officials and employees should not exceed their authority or breach the law or ask others to do so, and they should work in full cooperation with other public officials and employees unless prohibited from so doing by law or by officially recognized confidentiality of their work.
- Fair and Equal Treatment
- Interest in Appointments. Canvassing of members of the city council, directly or indirectly, in order to obtain preferential consideration in connection with any appointment to the municipal service shall disqualify the candidate for appointment except with reference to positions filled by appointment by the city council.
- Use of Public Property - no official or employee shall request or permit the use of city-owned vehicles, equipment, materials or property for personal convenience or profit, except when such services are available to the public generally or are provided as city policy for the use of such official or employee in the conduct of official business.
- Obligations to Citizens - no official or employee shall grant any special consideration, treatment, or advantage to any citizen beyond that which is available to every other citizen.
- Conflict of Interest - No elected or appointive city official or employee, whether paid or unpaid, shall engage in any business or transaction or shall have a financial or other personal interest, direct or indirect, which is incompatible with the proper discharge of his or her duties in the public interest or would tend to impair his or her independence of judgment or action in the performance of his or her official duties. Personal as distinguished from financial interest includes an interest arising from blood or marriage relationships or close business or political association.
Conflicts of Interest
Specific conflicts of interest are enumerated below for the guidance of officials and employees:
- Incompatible Employment - No elected or appointive city official or employee shall engage in or accept private employment or render services for private interests when such employment or service is incompatible with the proper discharge of his or her official duties or would tend to impair his or her independence of judgment or action in the performance of his or her official duties.
- Disclosure of Confidential Information - No elected or appointive city official or employee, shall, without proper legal authorization, disclose confidential information concerning the property, government or affairs of the city. Nor shall he or she use such information to advance the financial or other private interest of himself, herself or others.
- Gifts and Favors - No elected or appointive city official or employee shall accept any valuable gift, whether in the form of service, loan, thing or promise, from any person, firm, or corporation which to his or her knowledge is interested directly or indirectly in any manner whatsoever in business dealings with the city; nor shall any such official or employee:
- accept any gift, favor or thing of value that may tend to influence him or her in the discharge of his or her duties or
- grant in the discharge of his or her duties any improper favor, service, or thing of value.
- an occasional nonpecuniary gift, of only nominal value or
- an award publicly presented in recognition of public service or
- any gift which would have been offered or given to him or her if not an official or employee.
- Representing Private Interest Before City Agencies or Courts - no elected or appointive city official or employee whose salary is paid in whole or in part by the city shall appear in behalf of private interest before any agency of this city. He or she shall not represent private interests in any action or proceeding against the interest of the city in any litigation to which the city is a party. (Code 1991)