According to the ICMA, the ICMA Code of Ethics was first adopted in 1924 and defined the principles that today serve as the foundation for the local government management profession and set the standard for excellence.
Leadership in a management structure committed to equity, transparency, integrity, stewardship of public resources, political neutrality, and respect for the rights and responsibility of elected officials and residents strengthens democratic local governance.
Both MME and ICMA members pledge to uphold these principles in their conduct and decisions in order to merit the trust of the public, elected officials, and staff they serve.
Throughout 2016, the Ethics Committee has been very active, taking on a number of projects with the aim of advancing professional local government management by promoting individual responsibility for maintaining standards of competence and integrity.
To that end, the MME Board of Directors and the Ethics Committee have established a process for certain activites of the Association some of which are application for MME membership are reviewed for outstanding ethics complaints or concerns, engaged with institutions of higher education within the State to strengthen professional development opportunities, provided guidance on topics such as outside employment, and revised the Rules of Procedure established by the MME for processing reported or alleged violations of the ICMA Code of Ethics.
Specifically, the process of revising the Rules of Procedure for the Enforcement of the ICMA Code of Ethics (Rules) was undertaken to provide additional structure to the composition of the Ethics Committee, clarify and further improve the relationship between the MME Board of Directors and the Ethics Committee, clarify the process through which reported or alleged violations of the ICMA Code of Ethics are investigated, prevent conflicts of interest, and promote the role of the Ethics Committee in serving members through responses to proactive inquiries.
As we know, MME members can encounter difficult situations that they may have never imagined themselves experiencing. The revised Rules are intended to emphasize that the Ethics Committee can serve a constructive and proactive role in answering questions members may have before they take an action or to provide guidance. This direction is provided in conjunction with the ICMA and its wealth of resources. The revised Rules also work to ensure that an expeditious yet thorough, confidential, and fair process exists for processing reported or alleged violations against members.
While I have always on a personal level been a proud member of MME and have always been confident in the integrity of our membership, service on the Ethics Committee has only reinforced my perception that our membership constantly strives to ‘do the right thing’ and act in an ethical manner while earnestly serving Michigan municipalities. As custodians of the public trust, doing so helps us maintain the reputation and resiliency of our communities. The Ethics Committee looks forward to 2017 and stands ready to assist members with any ethical dilemmas or questions.
Oliver Turner, firstname.lastname@example.org
City Manager, Sault Ste. Marie
Chair, MME Ethics Committee
Oliver Turner began his employment as Sault Ste. Marie City Manager in June 2014. He has previously served as the Village Manager for the Village of Almont, MIchigan and has obtained additional local government experience with the City of Perrysburg, Ohio and retail management experience with BP Oil. Turner currently serves on the Michigan Local Government Management Association Board of Directors and is an active member of the International City/County Management Association and the Michigan Municipal League.