City of Coral Springs Municipal Code
Article II: Code of Ethics
To learn more, visit the Florida Commission on Ethics webpage at http://www.ethics.state.fl.us/ and click on "ethics laws."
Sec. 2-20. Short title.
This article shall be known and cited as the "City of Coral Springs Code of Ethics for Public Officers." (Ord. No. 2003-104, § 2, 3-4-03)
Sec. 2-21. Intent and purpose.
The purpose of this article is to strengthen the quality of representative government through ethical principles governing the conduct of the city's elected and appointed officials. It is important to assure that the policies and decisions made by public officers are made through established processes of government, that public officers do not utilize public office for private or personal benefit, that public officers avoid action which creates the appearance of impropriety, and that the public have confidence in the integrity of city government and the city's public officers. (Ord. No. 2003-104, § 2, 3-4-03)
Sec. 2-22. Definitions.
References in this article to the Florida Statutes shall be interpreted as meaning Florida Statutes as amended from time to time.
· Business entity shall have the meaning ascribed in Section 112.312(5), Florida Statutes.
· Candidate shall have the meaning ascribed in Section 112.312(6), Florida Statutes.
· Conflict or conflict of interest shall have the meaning ascribed in Section 112.312(8), Florida Statutes.
· Gift shall have the meaning ascribed in Section 112.312(12), Florida Statutes.
· Public officer shall have the meaning ascribed in Section 112.313(1), Florida Statutes.
· Relative shall have the meaning ascribed in Section 112.312(21), Florida Statutes.
(Ord. No. 2003-104, § 2, 3-4-03)
Sec. 2-23. Acknowledgment.
All public officers of the city and candidates for city elective office, upon appointment, election, or qualifying, are strongly encouraged to submit a signed statement to be provided by the city clerk acknowledging that they have received, read, understand, and agree to be bound by the City of Coral Springs Code of Ethics for Public Officers. (Ord. No. 2003-104, § 2, 3-4-03)
Sec. 2-24. Applicability of Chapter 112, Florida Statutes.
Nothing in the City of Coral Springs Code of Ethics for Public Officers shall be interpreted or construed as conflicting with Section 112.311 et seq., Florida Statutes, which is also applicable to public officers of the city. This article is intended to supplement state law provisions governing ethics in government. (Ord. No. 2003-104, § 2, 3-4-03)
Sec. 2-25. Standards of conduct.
In furtherance of the public trust assumed by public officers of the city upon their election or appointment to public office or employment, the following standards of conduct shall be applicable to public officers of the city:
(a) Core values. Each public officer pledges his or her commitment to the Core Values of the City of Coral Springs, as follows:
(1) Leadership by example. A public officer will display leadership by:
a. Subscribing to the City of Coral Springs Code of Ethics for Public Officers; and
b. Promoting a sense of community, community values, and community spirit and by embracing diversity within the community, while focusing on the importance and values of family; and
c. Practicing a "can do" attitude rather than an attitude of negativity; and
d. Developing vision or focus on the future, and supporting the achievement of vision; and
e. Being responsive; and
f. Having fun and enjoying one's role as a public officer of the city; and
g. Recognizing and fostering leadership throughout the city government and the residential and business communities of the city; and
h. Balancing statesmanship and political and professional goals; and
i. Maintaining a positive image, while working towards the best interests of the city and its citizens.
(2) Empowerment (mindset/orientation) attitude. A public officer will display an empowerment attitude by:
a. Encouraging citizens to be active, responsible partners in city government that function with public officers of the city to achieve a shared vision; and
b. Empowering city administration to continuously improve the quality of and the services provided by city government; and
c. Encouraging entrepreneurship by governing the city as a successful, ethical business model; and
d. Maximizing revenue while minimizing tax burdens on citizens.
(3) Customer focus and involvement (volunteerism/action). A public officer will encourage and promote customer focus and involvement by:
a. Encouraging citizens and residents to be involved in government and bridging the gap between city government and community; and
b. Promoting specific avenues by which citizen input is gathered and information is disseminated by the city; and
c. Encouraging citizen involvement in decision-making; and
d. Supporting data-based decision-making.
(4) Continuous improvement. A public officer will work towards continuous improvement through:
a. Self-improvement through education, personal growth, and personal learning; and
b. Supporting process improvement in city systems and key process improvements through knowledge-based decision-making; and
c. Supporting and encouraging personal wellness and professional development throughout city government; and
d. Supporting innovation through technology; and
e. Promoting effective use of customer feedback to improve quality of government and the providing of government services.
(b) Each public officer shall be dedicated to the concepts of effective and democratic local government, respecting the principals and spirit of representative democracy, and setting a positive example of good citizenship by scrupulously observing the letter and spirit of applicable laws, rules, and regulations.
(c) Each public officer shall pledge himself or herself to affirm the dignity and worth of the services rendered by city government and to maintain a constructive, creative, and practical attitude towards urban affairs incorporating a deep sense of social responsibility as a public servant.
(d) Each public officer shall be dedicated to the highest ideals of honor and integrity in all public and personal relationships and shall conduct themselves in a manner which maintains and promotes public confidence in city government.
(e) Each public officer shall recognize that the main function of local government, at all times, is to serve and promote the best interests of the public.
(f) Each public officer pledges to support and carry out public policy in furtherance of the Mission Statement of the city, including but not limited to, subscribing to and supporting the Strategic Plan and the Business Plan of the city.
To the extent that the city commission has created a priority area for individual members of the city commission, then, in that event, those members of the city commission not assigned to a particular priority area shall respect the apportioned assignment so long as the prioritization is maintained, as such, by the city commission. In all respects, each member of the city commission pledges to respect priority areas of other members of the city commission including the exchange of information, disclosure of activities, and the public furtherance of the goals and objectives of the designated area of priority.
(g) Each public officer pledges to keep the community informed on the affairs of city government, emphasize and practice friendly and courteous service to the public, and seek to improve the quality and image of public service.
(h) Each public officer pledges that he or she will not misuse the office or position, will not participate in debate on any matter which may come before the city commission for decision and which may benefit a family member, client, or business acquaintance, and will not seek or accept any personal profit or gain, or unwarranted favor or privilege for himself or herself, or any relative or other person.
(i) Each public officer pledges not to improperly influence or attempt to influence other public officers.
(j) A public officer shall not engage in, solicit, negotiate for, or promise to accept private employment or render services for private interests or conduct a private business when such employment, service, or business creates a conflict with the proper discharge of his or her official duties as a public officer.
(k) A public officer shall not invest or hold any investment, directly or indirectly, in any financial business, commercial, or other private transaction that creates a conflict with one's official duties as a public officer.
(l) Florida's Gift Law, as amended from time to time and as codified at Section 112.3148, Florida Statutes, is hereby incorporated herein by reference. A public officer shall not directly or indirectly solicit, accept, or receive any gift, whether it be money, services, loan, travel, entertainment, hospitality, promise, or any other form if: (1) it could be reasonably inferred or expected that the gift was intended to influence the performance of a public official's duties; or (2) the gift was intended to serve as an inducement for an improper action or as a reward not otherwise permitted under Florida law.
(m) Each public officer agrees to be honest, fair, and respectful to others in performing his or her duties as a public officer and agrees to refrain from and avoid conduct creating an appearance of impropriety or which is otherwise unbefitting a public officer, including but not limited to making false accusations or personal attacks against another public officer, or behaving in a rancorous or contentious manner.
(n) A public officer shall not use the provisions of this Code of Ethics to further frivolous claims against one another. Frivolous claims shall be those forwarded with knowledge that the claim contains one or more false allegations or those made with reckless disregard as to whether the complaint or claim contains false allegations of fact material to a violation of this Code of Ethics.
(o) Each public officer pledges to uphold and adhere to the provisions of the Charter of the city.
(p) A public officer shall not knowingly violate any federal, state, or local law, rule or regulation.
(q) Each public officer serving on the city commission or an advisory board of the city, when appearing before any other governmental body or within the contents of any written communication, pledges to inform the recipient of the oral or written communication that the issue before such governmental body or in writing has or has not been addressed officially by the city commission or the advisory board of which he or she is a member; and further pledges to inform the recipient(s) of the oral or written communication of any official position taken by the city commission or an advisory board and indicate that his or her appearance or written correspondence is or is not authorized by the city commission or an advisory board. When a member of the city commission is representing the city commission before another governmental body, said member of the city commission shall, at a minimum, update the other members of the city commission and the city manager at the next scheduled city commission meeting .
(r) A public officer shall not disclose confidential information acquired in one's capacity as a public officer to others or use such confidential information to further one's personal interests.
(s) No public officer shall undermine the duties, responsibilities, and role of the city manager, as provided in the Charter and the Code of Ordinances and as assigned by the city commission.
(t) Each public officer shall disclose all personal relationships in any instance whether there could be a conflict of interest or an appearance of conflict.
(u) Nothing herein shall be construed to apply to the solicitation or acceptance of contributions to the campaign of an announced candidate for elective city office, as governed by Chapter 106, Florida Statutes.
(v) No public officer; however, shall be prohibited from giving or receiving:
(1) An award publicly presented in recognition of public service;
(2) Commercially reasonable loans made in the ordinary course of a lender's business; or
(3) Reasonable entertainment, meals, or refreshments furnished in connection with public events, appearances, or ceremonies related to official duties or city government business.
(w) No public officer shall be prohibited from making an inquiry for information or providing assistance on behalf of a citizen or interested person if no fee, reward, or other thing of value is promised to, given to, or accepted by the public officer or a relative of a public officer, whether directly or indirectly, in return therefore. However, no public officer shall "influence peddle" or use his or her position as a public officer to gain favors or benefits inconsistent with city policy or applicable law on behalf of any citizen or other person. (Ord. No. 2003-104, § 2, 3-4-03)
Sec. 2-26. Orientation of elected officials.
(a) Newly elected members of the city commission shall, within twelve (12) months of the administration of the oath of office, attend and successfully complete the Institute for Elected Municipal Officials (IEMO) or similar program deemed qualified by the city commission.
(b) Newly elected members of the city commission shall receive a structural orientation on city government from the city manager and the city attorney within ten (10) business days of the administration of the oath of office. (Ord. No. 2003-104, § 2, 3-4-03)
Sec. 2-27. Retreats.
In furtherance of the goals and purposes of the City of Coral Springs Code of Ethics for Public Officers, on an annual basis, members of the city commission shall attend at least one (1) strategic planning retreat and at least two (2) commission retreats, as scheduled by the city commission in consultation with the city manager. Attendees at these retreats shall be the members of the city commission, the city manager, the city attorney, and those public officers of the city whose attendance is deemed necessary by the city manager. (Ord. No. 2003-104, § 2, 3-4-03)
Sec. 2-28. Enforcement.
Violation of any of the provisions of this article may constitute grounds for suspension or removal from office, pursuant to applicable statutory and constitutional procedures. Any advisory board member who violates any of the provisions of this article may be removed from any and all boards pursuant to applicable statutes and local ordinances. Any elected public officer that violates the City of Coral Springs Code of Ethics shall also be subject to censure by a four-fifths vote of the city commission. (Ord. No. 2003-104, § 2, 3-4-03)
To learn more, visit the Florida Commission on Ethics webpage at http://www.ethics.state.fl.us/ and click on "ethics laws."