To earn a Certified City of Ethics designation, a city must take two actions. They must first adopt a resolution establishing the five ethics principles city officials’ conduct. These principles are designed to guide the elected officials as individuals and as a governing body. These principles require city officials to serve others, not themselves, use resources with efficiency and economy, treat all people fairly, use the power of their position for the well-being of all constituents, and create an environment of honesty, openness and integrity.
The second requires the city to 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 those elected officials found in violation of the ordinance.”