Saturday, December 10, 2011

Troy's Code of Ethics

From Eve
Troy City Council's Code of Ethics took over 2 and a half years (!) of discussion to formulate and was finally signed and adopted by the previous Mayor & City Council on Oct. 18, 2010.

Please read this document carefully ( www.troymi.gov/Council/CodeofEthics2010.pdf ). It addresses items such as meeting attendance, being informed on issues and respecting confidentiality of information. However, respect for all people and refraining from hate speech are not included. Therefore, it appears that the document is incomplete and City Council needs to bring it up to a standard which will more accurately reflect the values the Troy Community holds dear. Only then, can this piece of paper be called a "Code of Ethics".

Since lately much has been said about words in the dictionary, the following is a definition of ethics:
plural noun
1. ( used with a singular or plural verb ) a system of moral principles: the ethics of a culture.
2. the rules of conduct recognized in respect to a particular class of human actions or a particular group, culture, etc.: medical ethics; Christian ethics.
3. moral principles, as of an individual: His ethics forbade betrayal of a confidence.
4. ( usually used with a singular verb ) that branch of philosophy dealing with values relating to human conduct, with respect to the rightness and wrongness of certain actions and to the goodness and badness of the motives and ends of such actions.

Furthermore, not only does the document lack key principles, but apparently it is not of any particular importance to the public officials recently elected since neither the new Mayor, nor any of the new City Council members have signed it. Documents such as a Code of Ethics, a Code of Conduct, an HR Policy - call them what you will - normally are an integral part of the hiring process and are customarily signed on Day 1 of a job... like right after being sworn in?
As the current Code of Ethics doesn't address hate speech, I posed the initial question to find out if perhaps the issue is covered in another document such as City of Troy Code of Conduct and if so, does the City of Troy's Code of Conduct apply to the Mayor & Council or do they abide by a totally separate set of rules?

Finally, is it too much for citizens to expect that any candidate for office in the great city of Troy has the ability to meet basic standards of behavior such not using hate speech?

2 comments:

  1. It's actually been longer than 2 and a half years to write a City of Troy ethics policy. I first proposed one as a member of the Troy City Council in 2003. I agree that every new member of Council should sign the policy immediately upon being sworn into office.

    ReplyDelete
  2. FYI, no document was presented to me for signature when I met with the city attorney before swearing in, or after the first meeting when I was sworn. This could use a policy/procedure review. And I'm certain most if not all on council will or would have signed it when asked. However, it would not have covered the past situation as it took place 6 months before being elected to office.

    Dave

    ReplyDelete