(A)   It is essential to the proper operation of the city that: (1) public offices be independent and impartial; (2) governmental decisions and policy be made through proper channels and in accordance with the Illinois Open Meetings Act, 5 ILCS 120, and other statutes and laws governing conduct by public offices; (3) public office not be used for private gain; and (4) there be public confidence in the integrity of government. Public officers and employees must serve the city in a fiduciary capacity and must not bestow special consideration on any person merely because of that person's relationship to the officer or employee. The city's goals are impaired whenever there is a conflict between the private interests of a city officer or employee and his or her public duties. As a result, the public interest requires that the law protect against conflicts of interest and establish appropriate ethical standards regarding the conduct of city officers and employees in situations where conflicts exist, as well as in situations where conflicts might develop.
   (B)   It is also essential to the proper operation of the city that those best qualified be encouraged to serve the city. Accordingly, legal safeguards against conflicts of interest must be designed so that they do not unnecessarily or unreasonably impede the recruitment and retention by the city of those individuals who are best qualified to serve it. Therefore, the right of each officer and employee to privacy in his or her financial affairs must not be limited beyond that disclosure necessary to ensure the integrity of the city. Moreover, because an essential principle underlying the staffing of the city is that its officers and employees should not be denied the opportunity that is available to all other citizens to acquire and retain private economic and other interests and to engage in political activities, those opportunities should not be restricted unless conflicts with the responsibility of the officers and employees to the public cannot be avoided.
   (C)   It is the policy and purpose of this chapter to implement these objectives of protecting the integrity of the city and of facilitating the recruitment and retention of qualified personnel by prescribing essential restrictions against conflicts of interest in city government without creating unnecessary barriers to public service and by establishing a code of ethics for officers and employees of the city.
   (D)   The policies set forth in this chapter are not intended to govern every circumstance, and officers and employees are expected to exercise good judgment and to avoid situations or circumstances that may create an appearance of impropriety. This becomes particularly important where there is a business relationship, close personal friendship or family relationship.
(Ord. 2019-44, passed 10-21-2019)