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No public official, whether paid or unpaid, shall engage in any business or transaction or shall have a financial or other personal interest, direct or indirect, which is incompatible with the proper discharge of his or her official duties in the public interest or would tend to impair his or her independence of judgment or action in the performance of his or her official duties. “Personal” as distinguished from “financial interest” includes an interest arising from blood or marital relationships or close business or political associations. Specific areas of potential conflicts of interest are set forth as follows:
(a) Employment. It is hereby recognized that public officials shall retain their rights as citizens to pursue interests of a personal and economic nature and to accept employment and follow other pursuits which do not interfere with the full and faithful discharge of their public duties. No specific occupations, per se, are deemed to be essentially incompatible with public office. However, it is recognized that on occasion there may develop specific conflicts between personal, financial or other private interests of a public official and the public interest. On those occasions the public official must take specific actions and refrain from specific actions as set forth in this chapter.
(Ord. 51-79. Passed 11-5-79.)
(b) Legislation, Contracts or Other Public Matters. A public official who has a personal, financial or other private interest in any proposed legislation, contract award or other public matter shall:
(1) Not engage in any discussion with other City officials or employees of the City, either formally or informally, about the specific situation; and
(2) Disclose on the record that a conflict exists or may be perceived to exist and physically exit the meeting or discussion until such time as the discussion is ended or the legislation or other matter is acted upon.
(Ord. 6-84. Passed 3-19-84.)
(c) Representation of Private Interests. No public official shall represent or appear on behalf of a private interest, other than his or her own personal residential interest, in any matter pending before any element of the City government. He or she shall not represent a private interest in any action or proceeding against the interests of the City in any litigation to which the City is a party. A member of Council may appear before elements of the City government on behalf of constituents in the course of his or her duties as a representative of the electorate or in the performance of public or civic obligations. However, no public official shall accept a retainer or other compensation that is contingent upon a specific action by the City.
(d) Use of Influence. No public official shall use or attempt to use his or her public position or office to obtain financial gain or unlawful benefits, advantages or privileges for himself or herself, for his or her immediate family or for any business with which he or she is associated. Financial gain shall not include regularly approved compensation for salary or expenses.
(e) Confidential Information. No public official may use or disclose confidential information acquired by him or her in the course of his or her official duties, in any way that could result in financial gain for himself or herself or any member of his or her immediate family, either directly or indirectly.
(f) Gifts and Favors. No public official shall accept or solicit anything of value; whether in the form of a gift or promise of a gift, from any person, firm or corporation which, to his or her knowledge, is involved in business dealings with the City. For purposes of this chapter, a gift shall include the receipt of any goods, services or loans for an amount less than the amount charged to the general public for like goods, services or loans, provided, however, that any public official may accept food or drink for immediate consumption when offered in a situation which is in a normal business context or in the nature of a social context.
(g) Special Treatment. No public official shall grant any special consideration, treatment or advantage to any citizen beyond that which is reasonably available to every other citizen.
(Ord. 51-79. Passed 11-5-79.)