Ethics Code

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AB 1234 Ethics 2006 [PDF]

Background
The laws of the State of California govern all aspects of public service ethics including full disclosure of personal economic interests, loans, gifts and honoraria, full disclosure of campaign contributions and other issues that might be considered conflicts of interest as well as criminal misconduct.

Purpose
While it is understood that the State of California has numerous sets of laws that guide the ethical behavior of public officials and employees, the City of Barstow wishes to establish that this is a community whose ethical values are clearly stated and fully understood not only by its elected officials and appointed leaders, but this Ethics Code is recognized and acknowledged by its employees and its citizen representatives to represent the values this community holds in highest regard.

Applicability
The community of Barstow, California is entitled to fair, accountable and ethical local government. Therefore the City of Barstow will require from its public officials, both elected and appointed, all public employees and citizens of Barstow that they comply with the letter and spirit of all laws governing the operations of government.

The City of Barstow will further require that public officials, both elected and appointed, 

  • Be fair and objective in their judgment and actions without consideration of their personal good and with an understanding that their position is not for personal gain but for public good;
  • Conduct themselves in a way that brings pride to the community and not in a way that brings disdain, embarrassment, or mockery;
  • Be independent, fair and impartial in their judgment and actions;
  • Perform as role models for the community within an atmosphere of respect and civility;
  • Understand that the professional and personal conduct of members must be above reproach and avoid even the slightest appearance of impropriety;
  • Refrain from abusive conduct, personal charges or verbal attacks upon the character or motives of other members of councils, boards and commissions, the staff or the public;
  • Perform their duties in accordance with the processes and rules of order established by the City Council and boards and commissions governing the deliberation of public policy issues, to include meaningful involvement of the public and implementation of policy decisions;
  • Prepare themselves for public issues; listen courteously and attentively to all public discussions before the body; and focus on the business at hand. They shall refrain from interrupting other speakers; making personal comments not germane to the business of the body; using gestures, facial expressions or general body language that is offensive, discourteous, or otherwise interfering with the orderly conduct of meetings. 

To this end, we set forth the following code of ethics and statement of conduct with the expectation that all public officials, elected or appointed, all public employees and citizens of Barstow will incorporate the spirit of this document into their lives and will represent the community of Barstow with the utmost integrity.

Implementation and Enforcement
This statement of ethics is intended to be self-enforcing. This statement will be included in the orientations for candidates, appointed members of boards and committees, and all new employees. They shall sign a statement affirming that they have read and understood the statement of ethics, are thoroughly familiar with it and embrace its provisions. The statement will be reviewed annually for any necessary revisions with full consideration from boards and commissions as it is deemed necessary.

The City Council may impose sanctions on members whose conduct is not in compliance with the ethical standards as set forth. Those sanctions may include but are not limited to: reprimand, formal censure, budget restrictions and removal from boards and commissions.

Code of Ethics and Statement of Conduct
As a public official, elected or appointed, and/or as a candidate for public office or nominee for a board I sign my name below with full understanding of the expectations that this community holds for me.

  • I will always be honest with my fellow elected officials, the public and others and take responsibility for my actions even when it is difficult for me to do so.
  • The decisions I make may appear to be unpopular but those decisions will be made in the public’s best interest without knowingly using false or inaccurate information.
  • I will not accept unauthorized gifts or services, special considerations or favors because of my public position which holds the public’s trust.
  • I will excuse myself from participating in decisions where my family’s financial interest might be affected by my decision or my agency’s decision nor will I use information gained in that capacity to further personal advantages.
  • Even when in disagreement, I will treat my fellow officials, staff, and each citizen with patience, courtesy and civility behaving in such a way that builds respect instead of disdain.
  • I am in this position to address the merits of proposals brought forth and not the personalities of those involved.
  • The decisions I make will be based on current research and facts as I look toward the short and long-term goals of the community.

Elected and appointed officials code:

  • Community service is our mission
  • Openness, respect and courtesy is an expectation
  • Understanding what is being said to me is more important than my being understood
  • No one has a higher priority than each citizen of this and any forthcoming generation
  • Compassion and commitment to the needs of the citizen majority is primary in my actions
  • Integrity and honesty is reflected by my supporting that which is right in the long run and not what is right for me and my friends
  • Loyalty to our community and its future generations will be our legacy.

Barstow staff code:

  • Barstow staff and officials serve on behalf of all Barstow citizens
  • Actions should reflect dignity and integrity
  • Respect, courtesy, openness: the hallmark of our performance
  • Service to our community is our primary goal
  • Treat each person with same level of respect and understanding that you feel is due you
  • Offer to help. Getting involved makes for a better community
  • We will work together for the community of Barstow’s long-term growth and well-being.

Citizen code:

  • Common courtesy. Show it to each citizen regardless of their public status.
  • Offer to help. Getting involved makes for a better community.
  • Make a difference by helping and not just complaining.
  • Make your voice known. Leadership listens to those who speak up.
  • Unite. Divisiveness creates more divisiveness.
  • Neighbors. Get to know them. It will make the entire community a better and safer place.
  • Invest in the future generations by investing time and attention to the children of the community. You will make a tremendous difference in the lives of those involved.
  • Treat each person with the same level of respect and understanding that you feel is due you.
  • You are just as responsible for this community as anyone else.

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