Cities Recognized for Ethics Ordinance
Two cities were recognized for earning the “Cities of Ethics,” designation at the Georgia Municipal Association’s (GMA) Annual Convention in Savannah, June 28. The cities of Lenox and Pelham join more than 200 cities that have received the City of Ethics designation.
Also, the cities of Baconton, Folkston, Gainesville, Jenkinsburg, Lincolnton, Macon-Bibb County, Milton, Riceboro, Statesboro, Tallapoosa, Walthourville and Washington were recertified as Cities of Ethics.
The City of Ethics program began in 1999 and was developed by a panel of business and government leaders to encourage cities to adopt and adhere to a set of key ethical principles and adopt a local ethics ordinance. The ordinance must contain definitions, prohibited conduct and due process for officials accused of violations in areas such as financial disclosures, conflicts of interests and outside employment. The ordinance must also contain penalties for city officials who violate the ordinance.
In recent years, GMA began requiring cities with the designation to recertify for the program, ensuring that ordinances maintain the standards of the program and city officials are regularly reminded of their ethical obligations as individuals and as a governing body. Each city will be required to apply for recertification every four years.
A panel of attorneys reviewed the ordinances to determine if they comply with the criteria set by GMA. The cities received a plaque and are now authorized by GMA to use a “Certified City of Ethics” logo on city stationery, road signs, city vehicles and for other uses.