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This code is written to establish standards of conduct for city officials. It is declaratory and is to be read consistently with the requirements of New Hampshire law and not to create duties less stringent than those required by New Hampshire law. It shall not limit the board of mayor and aldermen or school district from enacting consistent ordinances or rules.
(a) Contracts and Purchases. A city official shall not have an undisclosed financial or direct personal interest in any contract with the city. In the event a business or family member shall have any such interest, it shall be disclosed if pre-existing the official's taking office, or disclosed prior to any vote to enter such arrangement is taken by the board of mayor and aldermen.
(b) Appointment or employment of immediate family member. No city official shall participate in any way in any decision to employ or appoint any immediate family member to any city position nor any personnel action in connection with such employment or classified appointment.
(c) Disclosure of confidential information. A city official shall not disclose confidential information concerning the city or its business without proper legal authorization; nor shall any official use any such information to advance a private interest. Confidential information is information which the official obtains because of the position held which is not a matter of public record.
(d) No city official shall accept any gift or thing of value which is offered to affect the vote or action of the official, nor shall any official solicit any such gift. This shall not prohibit legal campaign contributions or admission to events to which officials are invited in their official capacities, or food or beverage consumed at such events.
(e) Conflict of interest. No city official shall participate in the decision-making process of any matter in which the official or a member of the official's immediate family has a direct personal or financial interest. Any official who believes such an interest exists shall disclose such interest and shall not participate in the matter further. In the event any other official believes an official has a conflict, such conflict shall be disclosed to the city clerk who shall make a record of it. If the official does not believe such a conflict exists, the board of mayor and alderman, or school committee if the official is a member of the school committee, shall make a determination and if it finds a conflict exists, the official shall not participate in the matter further, or the appropriate board may refer the matter to the Conduct Board.
(f) Financial disclosure. Within 90 days after the effective date of this charter, the city clerk shall prepare a financial disclosure form requiring all city officials to disclose their own individual business and financial relationships, employment and financial holdings. Such filings shall be updated annually before January 15.
(g) Non-interference. The board of mayor and aldermen, the various boards and com-missions and the board of school committee shall act in all matters as a body, and shall not seek individually to influence the official acts of any city official, or to direct or request, except in writing, the appointment or removal of any person to or from office; or to interfere in any way with the performance by such officers of their duties. This provision shall not prohibit assistance to constituents in their dealings with city officials if direct requests to the appropriate administrative officials have been unsuccessful, advocacy of particular outcomes on matters pending before the city when the matters are of a general nature, or submission of recommenda-tions or references on behalf of a candidate for city employment which are not inconsistent with this code.