Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Has Mr. Felts Borrowed His Code of Ethics Script? Maybe it's Ok to copy one?Wrong!

Mr. Larry Felts is circulating the following
document and asking for feedback prior to pre-
senting it to next BOMA on 6/1/06. Question is
where did he get it or copy it from another "un-
known" city document? Surprise Mr. Felts ever
heard of the term "plagiarism" and"copyright?"

Our blog readers would like to know where did
this script come from and in fact who owns it?
Hopefully,some of our 25,000 readers will iden-
tify it and send us an email with such informa-
tion. We will keep everyone posted. Until then
read on,and on, and on thru this Code of Ethics
that really doesn't fit Nolensville. Email your
comments and opinions ASAP. And don't for-
get to vote in our straw polls. Don't forget Nash-
ville & State passed Code of Ethics with HUGE
loopholes shot thru it...love those politicans????

Tennessee ranks 32nd in nation on ethics laws.
State got a grade of F on it's Code of Ethics.
Voters cannot determine lawmaker's financial
holdings, owned real estate and his employer's
business and his job title. So much for ethics?
CLICK HERE for Tennessean article.

CODE OF ETHICS
TOWN OF NOLENSVILLE (unknown author?)

Preamble
The proper operation of democratic govern-
ment requires that decision-makers be indepen-
dent, impartial, and accountable to the people
they serve. The Town of Nolensville is committ-
ed to the highest standards of conduct by and
among town officials in theperformance of their
public duties and to promote and maintain the
highest standards of personal and professional
conduct in the Town’s government. Individual
and collective adherence to high ethical stand-
ards by public officials is central to the mainten-
ance of public trust and confidence in govern-
ment. Because we seek public confidence in the
City's services and public trust of its decision-
makers, our decisions and our work must meet
the most demanding ethical standards and de-
monstrate the highest levels of achievement in
following this code. While town officials agree
on the need for proper conduct, they may exper-
ience personal conflict or differing view of
values or loyalties. In such cases the principles
contained in this Code of Ethics provide valuable
guidance in reaching decisions, which are gov-
erned, ultimately, by the dictates of the individ-
ual conscience of the public official and his or
her commitment to the public good. Certain of
these ethical principles are best expressed as
positive statements: actions, which should be
taken, courses, which should be followed, goals,
which should permeate both public and private
conduct. Other principles are expressed as neg-
ative statements: actions to be avoided and con-
duct to be condemned.
The Code of Ethics for Town Officials has been
created by and for elected town officials. How-
ever, these principles apply to the day to day
conduct of both elected and appointed officials,
Town staff, volunteers and members of Town’s
boards, commissions and committees.
The Town of Nolensville recognizes that this
Code of Ethics should serve as a valuable refer-
ence guide for all those in whom the public has
placed its trust.

The ethical town official should:
Properly administer the affairs of the town.
Promote decisions, which only benefit the public
interest. Actively promote public confidence in
town government. Keep safe all funds and other
properties of the town. Conduct and perform the
duties of the office diligently and promptly dis-
pose of the business of the town.
Maintain a positive image to pass constant
public scrutiny. Evaluate all decisions so that
the best service or product is obtained at a
minimal cost without sacrificing quality and
fiscal responsibility.
Inject the prestige of the office into everyday
dealings with the public, employees and asso-
ciates. Maintain a respectful attitude toward
employees, other public officials, colleagues
and associates. Effectively and efficiently work
with governmental agencies, political subdivis-
ions and other organizations in order to further
the interest of the county.
Faithfully comply with all laws and regulations
applicable to the town and impartially apply
them to everyone.

The ethical town official should NOT:
Engage in outside interests that are not com-
patible with the impartial and objective per-
formance of his or her duties. Improperly in-
fluence or attempt to influence other officials
to act in his or her own benefit.
Accept anything of value from any source,
which is offered to influence his or her action
as a public official. The ethical town official
accepts the responsibility that his or her miss-
ion is that of servant and steward to the public.

Acts in the Public Interest
Recognizing that stewardship of the public in-
terest must be their primary concern, Town
Commissioners will work for the common good
of the people of The Town of Nolensville and not
for any private or personal interest, and they will
assure fair and equal treatment of all persons,
claims, and transactions coming before the The
Town of Nolensville.

Compliance with Law
Town Commissioners shall comply with the laws
of the nation, the State of Tennessee, and the
Town of Nolensville in the performance of their
public duties. These laws include, but aren't
limited to: the United States and Tennessee
constitutions; the Town of Nolensville Charter;
laws pertaining to conflicts of interest, contracts
with public entities, election campaigns, finan-
cial disclosures, employer responsibilities, and
open processes of government; and town ordin-
ances and policies.

Respect for Process
Town Commissioners shall perform their duties
in accordance with the processes and rules of
order established by the Town Commission gov-
erning the deliberation of public policy issues,
meaningful involvement of the public, and imple-
mentation of policy decisions of the town Com-
mission by town staff.

Conduct of Public Meetings
Town Commissioners shall prepare themselves
for public issues, listen courteously and atten-
tively to all public discussions before the body,
and focus on the business at hand. They shall
refrain from interrupting other speakers, mak-
ing comments not germane to the business of
the body, or otherwise interfering with the
orderly conduct of meetings.

Communication
Town Commissioners shall publicly share sub-
stantive information that is relevant to a matter
under consideration by the Town Commission,
which they may have received from sources out-
side of the public decision-making process.

Full Disclosure
A Town Commissioner in the performance of
their public duties shall not act upon any matter
in which they have a material financial interest,
or where they have a legal or fiduciary duty to
another organization or entity or personal rela-
tionship that may give the appearance of a con-
flict of interest, without disclosing the full nature
and extent of the interest to the other members
of the Town Commission on the official record.
Such disclosure must be made before the time
to perform their duty or concurrently with the
performance of the duty.
The disclosure required by this subsection shall
not supplant, but instead shall supplement, any
disclosure of a personal, contractual, financial,
business, employment or pecuniary interest re-
quired by state statute. Gifts, Favors, and Loans.
A Town Commissioner should refrain from
financial and business dealings that would tend
to reflect adversely on the Commissioner's im-
partiality, interfere with the performance of
their public duties or exploit their official posi-
tion. A Town Commissioner should not take
any special advantage of services, goods or
opportunity for personal gain that is not avail-
able to the public in general.A Town Commiss-
ioner and any family member claimed as a
dependent of the Commissioner shall refrain
from soliciting or accepting any gifts, loans or
favors except that a Commiss-ioner and a
family member claimed as a dependent of the
Commissioner may:i) Accept a gift or honorar-
ium, not exceeding a value of $100, for ser-
vices rendered in the performance of their
public duties or other activity devoted to the
improvement of cities, communities and the
lives of citizens.ii) Accept ordinary social hos-
pitality; a gift, bequest, favor or loan from a
relative; a wedding or engagement gift; a
loan in the regular course of business from a
lending institution on the same terms as gen-
erally available to the public; and a scholar-
ship, grant or fellowship awarded on the same
terms as applied to other applicants.iii)
Accept any other gift, favor or loan only if the
donor is not a person or entity whose inte-
rests have come or are likely to come before
Town Commission.iv)
Solicit and accept campaign contributions,
ANY AND ALL CONTRIBUTIONS MUST BE
MADE PUBLIC FOR REVIEW BY THE
CITIZENS OF THE TOWN OF
NOLENSVILLE.

Confidential Information
Town Commissioners shall respect the con-
fidentiality of information concerning the pro-
perty, personnel or affairs of the City. They
shall neither disclose nor divulge to an un-
authorized person confidential information
acquired in the course of their duties in
advance of the time prescribed for its author-
ized release to the public without proper legal
authorization, nor use such information to
advance their personal, financial or other
private interests.

Use of Public Resources
Public resources, including Town staff time,
equipment, supplies, and facilities, not available
to the public in general shall only be used for the
benefit of the public and not for a Town Com-
missioner’s personal or private use.

Representation of Private Interests
In keeping with their role as stewards of the
public interest, a Town Commissioner shall not
appear on behalf of the private interests of third
parties, including their spouses and family mem-
bers within the third degree of consanguinity to
the Town Commissioner or their spouse, before
the Town Commission or any board, committee,
commission or proceeding of the Town.

Advocacy
Town Commissioners shall represent the official
policies or positions of the Town Commission to
the best of their ability when designated as dele-
gates for this purpose. When presenting their in-
dividual opinions and positions, Town Commiss-
ioners shall explicitly state they do not represent
their body or the Town of Nolensville, nor will
theyallow the inference that they do.

Policy Role of Members
Town Commissioners shall respect and adhere
to the ELECTED /CHAIN OF COMMAND
structure of the Town of Nolensville govern-
ment as outlined by the Town of Nolensville
Charter.In this structure, the Town Commiss-
ion determines the policies of the town with
the advice, information, and analysis provid-
ed by the public, subordinate boards, com-
mittees and commissions, and Town staff.
Town Commissioners therefore shall not
interfere with the administrative functions
of the Town or the professional duties of
Town staff; nor shall they impair the ability
of staff to implement Town Commission
policy decisions.

Independence of Boards and Commissions
Because of the value of the independent advice
of subordinate boards, committees, and com-
missions to the public decision-making pro-
cess, members of the Town Commission shall,
except when the Commissioner is a member
of the public body, limit their participation in
the proceedings of such subordinate public
bodies to the communication of requested
information and providing factual informa-
tion relevant to the discussion at hand and
shall not otherwise attempt to unduly in-
fluence the deliberations or outcomes of the
proceedings.

Positive Workplace Environment
Town Commissioners shall support the mainten-
ance of a positive and constructive workplace en-
vironment for Town employees and for citizens
and businesses dealing with the Town. Town
Commissioners shall recognize their special role
in dealings with Town employees so as to in no
way create the perception of inappropriate direc-
tion to staff nor, except for the purpose of inquiry,
give specific orders to subordinates of the Town
Manager or Town Attorney. Because Town Com-
missioner actions and comments contribute to
the environment in which all Town employees
must work, in order to create and promote a
positive work environment under no circum-
stances shall a Town Commissioner, either in
public or private, intimidate, humiliate, or
otherwise abuse a Town employee.

Compliance and Enforcement
This Code of Ethics for Nolensville Town Com-
missioners expresses standards of ethical con-
duct expected for members of the Nolensville
Town Commission. Town Commissioners them-
selves have the primary responsibility to assure
that they understand and meet the ethical stan-
dards expressed in this code of ethics and that
the public can continue to have full confidence
in the integrity of government.
All Town Commissioners shall have a responsi-
bility to intervene when actions of another Town
Commissioner that appear to be in violation of
the Code of Ethics are brought to their attention.
Upon acquiring reasonable suspicion of a vio-
lation of the Code of Ethics, the Mayor shall set,
or any three Commissioners may require the set-
ting of, a public hearing at a regular or special
meeting of the Town Commission to determine
whether a violation of the Code of Ethics occurr-
ed and, if so, what sanctions shall be imposed for
the violation.
The Town Commission may impose sanctions on
Town Commissioners whose conduct does not
comply with the City's ethical standards. Sanc-
tions may include reprimand, formal censure,
loss of committee assignment, restrictions
budget or travel., and removal from office by
the governor in the manner and for the causes
provided by law. A violation of this code of ethics
shall not be considered a basis for challenging
the validity of a Town Commission decision.

Implementation
As an expression of the standards of conduct for
Town Commissioners expected by the public,
this Code of Ethics is intended to be self-enforc-
ing. It therefore becomes most effective when
Town Commissioners are thoroughly familiar
with it and embrace its provisions.
For this reason, ethical standards shall be includ-
ed in the regular orientations for newly elected or
appointed Town Commissioners. Town Commiss-
ioners entering office shall sign a statement
affirming that they have read and understand
The Code of Ethics for Town of Nolensville
Commissioners.

In addition, the Town Commission shall annually
review The Code of Ethics for The Town of
Nolensville Commissioners.

Wow! Really long (boiler plate) document?
Don't you wonder where it came from???
Maybe one of our readers will tell us. Tell us
what you think ? Best question from reader--
who will enforce it? Think about this: if town
adopted a Code of Ethics it may very well be
missing real estate agents like interim mayor
and town webmaster Lenderman. Also our
town attorney working for Southern Land
Title. Also some selected contractors and
many more we don't even know about?

5 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have no problem with adapting a Code of Ethics from another town, and even less problem with acknowledging the original source. I think it's a good start, however it may be a little vague and difficult to enforce. No penalties are specified and although it does address conflicts of interest, it seems again - vague. I would like to see a document that has more specifics and gets to the point. I don't know whether to praise Mr. Felts for getting the ball rolling at last or wonder if it's a placebo to get to voters off everyone's back about a Code of Ethics before the elections in November.
Blessings to all -

8:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just finished reading the Tennessean article per blog on state ethics and our F grade. No wonder local towns don't pay any attention to ethics. We can't adopt an ethics code now..if we did we wouldn't have a mayor, etc.
Time to call commercial house cleaners plus Roto-Rooter and start over with new, qualified people in our local government.

8:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Iim surprised Felts didn't start his code with "Fourscore and seven years ago"
What does he think he is trying to do?

9:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

GOODNIGHT MOON

THE PEOPLE OF THE 4TH DISTRICT SAW THRU HIM. NOW HOPEFULLY NOLENSVILLE WILL WAKE UP AND SEE THIS MAN FOR WHAT HE IS!

6:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good question, what is Felts trying to do ? Ethics, Really ,the nerve of that man!

8:37 AM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home