GMA Designation - City of Ethics
The City of McDonough was one of eleven Georgia cities which received the "Certified City of Ethics"; designation at the GMA's Annual Convention in Savannah on June 28, 2005. There are now numerous cities in Georgia which have received the designation. The cities of Braselton, Centerville, East Point, Euharlee, Flowery Branch, Greensborsiness and government leaders, encourages cities to adopt and adhere to a set of key ethical principles and a comprehensive ethics ordinance.
What is the purpose of the Cities of Ethics Program?
Certification under this program is a way to recognize cities that have adopted principles and procedures that offer guidance on ethical issues, along with a mechanism to resolve complaints at the local level. The program is not in any way an attempt to sanction past or present conduct by the city or any city official. Rather, it is an attempt to raise awareness about ethics issues at the local level and provide a local forum for the airing and resolution of legitimate concerns. The use of a local ethics ordinance allows citizens to raise their concerns and participate in the ethics investigation process at the local level, where the voice and influence of the individual citizen is strongest.
What is the process for becoming a City of Ethics?
Two steps are required prior to becoming a certified City of Ethics. First, the city and every member of its governing authority must adopt a resolution acknowledging and subscribing to five ethics principles to govern the conduct of elected officials. The ethics principals to be included in the resolution are:
- Serve others, not ourselves
- Use resources with efficiency and economy
- Treat all people fairly
- Use the power of our position for the well being of our constituents
- Create an environment of honesty, openness and integrity
The adopted resolution must include or at least reference the definitions of these principles. A sample resolution is available on the GMA website. All elected officials are required to sign the resolution.
Second, cities must also adopt an ethics ordinance that meets minimum standards approved by the GMA Board. The ordinance must contain definitions, an enumeration of permissible and impermissible activities by elected officials, due process procedures for elected officials charged with a violation of the ordinance and punishment provisions for elected officials who have been found in violation of the ordinance.
Recent Changes to the City of Ethics Program (image link)