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(A) Conflicts of interest will naturally occur from time to time and in such cases when they may or do in fact arise, should be presented publicly to diminish the potential of actual or perceived special interests.
(B) Definitions. For the purpose of this subchapter, the following definitions shall apply unless the context clearly indicates or requires a different meaning.
CONFLICT OF INTEREST. May occur when action by the city, either through its employees or the City Council, could be construed as impacting negatively or positively an interest of an employee or Council Member, his or her relatives, business or financial investments, property, or other interests.
IMMEDIATE FAMILY. The spouse, child, parents, grandchild, grandparents, brother, sister, half-sister, half-brother or the spouses of any listed relatives. All relationships shall include those arising from adoption.
(C) City Council reporting of conflicts of interest.
(1) If a case may arise when a Council Member or the Mayor has a conflict of interest, he or she shall make known the potential conflict in open session when City Council business might involve such interest. The Council Member or Mayor need not provide detail on the potential conflict so as to injure a client or patient relationship.
(2) In addition to the general rule on conflicts of interest above, the following specific conflicts of interest are specifically prohibited:
(a) Holding of other offices. Pursuant to Section 4.13(a) of the City Charter, no Council Member shall hold any other city office or employment during the term for which they were elected to the Council except where specifically allowed by the Charter.
(b) Appointments and removals. Pursuant to Section 4.13(b) of the City Charter, the Council and individual Council Members may not direct the removal or hiring of employees appointed by the City Manager or his or her subordinates.
(c) Voting involving a conflict of interest. No member of the Council shall vote on any question in which he, she or a member of their immediate family as defined in this subchapter, has a financial interest, other than the common public interest, or on any question concerning his or her own conduct. Council Members who may have a financial interest shall state such interest and then refrain from debating, commenting, or otherwise seeking to influence the Council on such question.
(d) Nepotism. Pursuant to Section 6.7(b) of the City Charter, unless the Council shall determine by unanimous vote, which vote shall be recorded as part of its official proceedings, that the best interests of the city shall be served, that the immediate family members of any elected or appointed officers are disqualified from holding any appointive office or employment during the term for which the elective or appointive officer is elected or appointed. This section shall in no way disqualify such relatives or their spouses who are bona fide appointive officers or employees of the city at the time of the election or appointment of said official.
(D) City Manager reporting of conflicts of interest.
(1) If a case may arise when the City Manager has a conflict of interest, he or she shall make written notification of such conflict to the Mayor and the City Clerk. To the extent possible, the City Manager’s involvement in the situation will be minimized to avoid the appearance of impropriety. The City Manager’s conduct shall at all times be in accord with the ICMA Code of Ethics.
(2) It shall not be deemed a conflict of interest by the City Manager to enforce or cause to be enforced zoning or ordinance violations in keeping with standard practice. It shall also not be deemed a conflict of interest for action to be taken by the city to improve or otherwise conduct normal public activities in the neighborhood where the City Manager may reside.
(E) Employee reporting of conflicts of interest. If a case may arise when an employee of the city or the city’s Attorney, Auditor, or other professional contractor may have a conflict of interest, he, she, or the corporation, partnership or entity shall promptly report such conflict or potential conflict to the City Manager. The City Manager shall determine what steps if any may be necessary to avoid the potential for preferential or adverse action because of the conflict.
(Ord. 195, passed 12-10-2012) Penalty, see § 37.99