The city of Crawfordville was recognized as the most recently certified Cities of Ethics at the Georgia Municipal Association’s (GMA) Annual Convention June 24. Gilmer County also received the County of Ethics certification, while 36 additional cities received recertifications.
The 36 cities that received City of Ethics Certifications are: Acworth, Barnesville, Brunswick, Buford, Centerville, Clarkston, Dawsonville, Donalsonville, Dublin, Dunwoody, Grantville, Helen, Hinesville, Hiram, Lakeland, Luthersville, Madison, Maysville, Meansville, Midway, Moultrie, Mount Airy, Mount Vernon, Newnan, Nicholson, Powder Springs, Reynolds, Sandersville, Savannah, Sugar Hill, Suwanee, Swainsboro, Sylvester, Tifton, Trion and Vienna.
The City of Ethics program began in 1999 and was developed by a panel of business and government leaders to encourage cities to adopt and adhere to a set of key ethical principles and approve a local ethics ordinance. The ordinance must contain definitions, prohibited conduct and due process for officials accused of violations in areas such as financial disclosures, conflicts of interests and outside employment. The ordinance must also contain penalties for city officials who violate the ordinance.
GMA requires cities with the designation to recertify for the program, ensuring that ordinances maintain the standards of the program and city officials are regularly reminded of their ethical obligations as individuals and as a governing body. Each city is required to apply for recertification every four years.
A panel of attorneys reviewed the ordinances to determine if they comply with the criteria set by GMA. The cities received a plaque and are now authorized by GMA to use a “Certified City of Ethics” logo on city stationery, road signs, city vehicles and for other uses.