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Quartzsite, Arizona

Friday, September 28, 2012

Quartzsite Town Council member Pat Workman is subject of ad hoc ethics committee


Quartzsite Town Council member Pat Workman is the subject of a special meeting of the Ad hoc ethics committee which will meet Monday, October 1st at 11:30am. The meeting is open to the public.

1.       Preamble
The residents and businesses of Quartzsite are entitled to have a fair, ethical, and accountable local government. Such a government requires that public officials:
A.                Comply with both the letter and spirit of the laws and policies affecting operations of the government;
B.                Be independent, impartial, and fair in their judgment and actions;
C.                Use their public office for the public good, not for personal gain; and
D.                Conduct public deliberations and processes openly, unless legally confidential, in an atmosphere of respect and civility.
2.       Code of Ethics
To this end, the Quartzsite Town Council has adopted a Code of Ethics to encourage public confidence in the integrity of local government and effective operation. This Town Council Code of Ethics and Quartzsite Town Council Procedure Manual shall not be interpreted to conflict with other rights and responsibilities of public officials set forth in this code or Federal, State, or local law. The Town Council Code of Ethics shall be considered to be the definitive document relating to ethical conduct by Quartzsite Council Members.
3.       Public Interest
A.              Recognizing that stewardship of the public interest must be their primary
concern, Council Members shall work for the common good of the people of Quartzsite, and not for any private or personal interest. Council Members must endeavor to treat all members of the public and issues before them in a fair and equitable manner.
B.              Council Members shall comply with the Laws of the Nation, the State of Arizona,
and the Town of Quartzsite in the performance of their public duties. These laws include, but are not limited to: the United States and Arizona constitutions; the Quartzsite Town Ordinances; laws pertaining to conflicts of interest, election campaigns, financial disclosures, employer responsibilities, and open meetings.
4. Conduct
A.       Council Members shall refrain from abusive conduct, personal charges, or verbal
attacks upon the character or motives of other members of the Town Council, boards, commissions, committees, staff or the public.

B.            Council Member duties shall be performed in accordance with the processes and
rules of order established by the Town Council.
C.            Council Members shall inform themselves on public issues, listen attentively to
public discussions before the body and focus on the business at hand.
D.            Council decisions shall be based upon the merits and substance of the matter at
E.            It is the responsibility of Council Members to publicly share sensitive information
that is relevant to a matter under consideration that they have received from sources outside of the public decision-making process with all other Council Members and the public prior to taking action on the matter.
F.            Appropriate Town staff should be involved when Council Members meet with
officials from other agencies and jurisdictions to ensure proper staff support as needed and to keep staff informed.
G.           Council Members shall not attend internal staff meetings or meetings between
Town staff and third parties unless invited by Town staff or directed by Council to do so.
H.            Council Members shall respect and adhere to the council-manager structure of
Town of Quartzsite Town Government as provided in State law, and the Town Ordinances, Council Members shall support the maintenance of a positive and constructive environment for residents, businesses, and Town employees.
I.              The Code of Ethics shall be included in the regular orientations for Town Council
candidates. Council members entering office shall sign a statement affirming they have read and understand the Town of Quartzsite Town Council Code of Ethics.
5.      Conflict of Interest
A.            In order to assure their independence and impartiality on behalf of the public
good, Council Members are prohibited from using their official positions to influence government decisions in which they have a financial interest or where they have an organizational responsibility or a personal relationship that would present a conflict of interest under applicable state law.
B.            In accordance with state law, Council Members must file annual written
disclosures of their economic interests.
C.            Council Members shall not take advantage of services or opportunities for
personal gain by virtue of their public office that are not available to the public in general.
D.         Council Members shall respect and preserve the confidentiality of information provided  to them concerning the confidential matters of the Town. They must neither disclose confidential information without proper legal authorization, nor use such information to advance the personal, financial, or private interests of themselves, or others.
E.              Town Council Members should avoid any action that could be construed as, or create the appearance of, using public office for personal gain, including use of Town stationary or other Town resources to obtain or promote personal interest or business interests.
F.              Public resources that are not available to the general public (e.g., Town staff time, equipment, supplies, or facilities) shall not be used to obtain or promote personal interests business interests.
G.             In keeping with their role as stewards of the public interest, Council Members shall not appear on behalf of the private interests of a third party before the Town Council or any board, commission, or committee, or proceeding of the Town, except as permitted by law.
H.              To the best of their ability, Council Members shall represent the official policies and positions of the Town Council. When presenting their personal opinions or positions publicly, members shall explicitly state that they do not represent the Council, or the Town.
6.       Compliance and Enforcement—All Rules
Council Members take an oath or affirmation when they assume their office in which they promise to uphold the laws of the State of Arizona, the Town of Quartzsite and the United States of America. Consistent with this oath or affirmation, is the requirement of this Council policy to comply with the laws as well as report violations of the laws and policy of which they become aware.
A.              Any suspected violation of alleged violation by a Council Member must be
reported to the Mayor. Any suspected violation or alleged violation by the Mayor must be reported to the Vice Mayor. In the case of a Town staff member making the report regarding a Council Member or Mayor, the report should be made to the Town Manager, who will then report it to the Mayor (or, when appropriate, the Vice Mayor). Upon report, the Town Manager and Town Attorney will assist the Mayor in following one of the two protocols for addressing the violation or alleged violation:
B.              If the Mayor, Town Manager, and Town Attorney all agree that the violation or alleged violation is minor in nature, the Mayor and either the Town Manager or Town Attorney may contact the individual Council Member and advise the Council Member of the concern and seek to resolve the matter (Protocol 1).


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