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(A) The Code of Ethics has five purposes:
(1) To encourage ethical conduct on the part of city officials and employees;
(2) To encourage public service with the city;
(3) To establish standards for ethical conduct for city officials and employees by defining and prohibiting conduct that is incompatible with the interests of the city;
(4) To require disclosure by city officials and employees of their economic interests that may conflict with the interests of the city; and
(5) To serve as a basis for disciplining those who fail to abide by its terms.
(B) The Code of Ethics is not intended to be used as a political weapon or to intimidate or embarrass affected persons. The officials charged with administration of this Code of Ethics shall administer it in a manner that avoids any such use of this Code of Ethics.
(C) Ethics Policy statement. It is the policy of the city that all city officials and employees shall conduct themselves both inside and outside the city's service so as to give no occasion for distrust of their integrity, impartiality or devotion to the best interest of the city and the public trust which the city holds.
(D) It is further declared to be the policy of the city that the proper operation of democratic government requires that:
(1) Officials and employees be independent, impartial and responsible;
(2) Governmental decisions and policy be made using the proper procedures of the governmental structure;
(3) No officer or employee have any financial interest, direct or indirect, or engage in any business, transaction or professional activity or incur any obligation of any nature which is in conflict with the proper discharge of his duties in the public interest;
(4) Public office is not be used for personal gain; and
(5) All boards of the city are at all times to be maintained as a nonpartisan body.
(E) It is the policy of the city to uphold, promote, and demand the highest standards of ethical behavior from its Mayor, members of the City Council, employees, and individuals appointed to serve on the city's boards, commissions, committees, task forces, and other appointed advisory groups ("city officials"). Honesty, integrity, fairness, and transparency of action are the hallmarks of public service in the City of Freeport.
(F) Appearance of impropriety. Public service is a public trust. All city officials and employees are stewards of the public trust. They have a responsibility to the citizens of the city to administer and enforce the City Charter and city ordinances. To ensure and enhance public confidence in city government, each city official and employee must strive not only to maintain technical compliance with the principles of ethical conduct set forth in this chapter and in state law, but also to avoid the appearance of impropriety at all times.
(G) To implement this chapter, the City Council has determined that it is advisable to enact this Code of Ethics for all officials and employees, whether elected or appointed, paid or unpaid, advisory or administrative, to serve not only as a guide for official conduct of the city's public servants, but also as a basis for discipline for those who refuse to abide by its terms.
(H) Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, a member of the board of directors of a reinvestment zone established under the tax increment financing act, as amended, may:
(1) Own property within that reinvestment zone; and
(2) Participate in discussions and voting on matters before the board of directors that may directly or indirectly affect the member's property within the reinvestment zone.
(Ord. 2019-2567, passed 2-19-19)