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It is declared that:
(A) High moral and ethical standards among public servants in local government are essential to the conduct of fair, open and responsive representative government.
(B) The people of the city need and deserve a local government led by outstanding public servants whose devotion and commitment to pursuing the public interest through established democratic processes outweigh personal or political considerations.
(C) Upon taking the oath of office, elected officers enter into a solemn trust with the people of the city involving extraordinary legal and moral obligations. One aspect of these obligations requires that those entrusted with public authority unfailingly demonstrate that they are worthy of the public's respect and are devoted to maintaining the absolute integrity of government.
(D) Effective democratic government depends upon the willingness of the people to exercise responsible citizenship by voluntary compliance with laws and by active participation in the democratic process. When the public's trust in and respect for government is high, citizens are more likely to fully participate by voting, becoming better informed, and becoming more active in public debate and discourse in a way that engenders civic pride and makes government more representative, more responsive and more effective.
(E) Unethical or illegal behavior by any public servant tends to diminish the stature of local government and produce cynicism that erodes public confidence. Thus, all who serve the city have a solemn responsibility to avoid improper conduct and prevent such behavior by colleagues and subordinates.
(F) The principles of public service ethics pervading this subchapter view the ethical obligations of public servants in a positive way. High standards of conduct and specific regulations to enforce them are not driven by negative assumptions about the character of those who serve government, but are expressions of the need for clarity and uniformity about the higher duties of public service and the noble dimension of democracy.
(Ord. 7781, passed 9-5-95)