Ethics Tenet 4

Recognize that the chief function of local government at all times is to serve the best interests of all the people.


Length of Service:  A minimum of two years generally is considered necessary in order to render a professional service to the local government.  A short tenure should be the exception rather than a recurring experience. However, under special circumstances it may be in the best interests of the local government and the member to separate in a shorter time. Examples of such circumstances would include refusal of the appointing authority to honor commitments concerning conditions of employment, a vote of no confidence in the member, or severe personal problems. It is the responsibility of an applicant for a position to ascertain conditions of employment. Inadequately determining terms of employment prior to arrival does not justify premature termination.

Case Study

A person was appointed as City Manager and arrived to serve in the City.  After arriving the Manager discovered that the City provided medical insurance for employees’ families but did not provide it for his family, because of his salary.  This was not discussed or included in the offer of the position in follow up discussions. There was not anything in writing that either confirmed or denied this benefit. The Council elected not to provide it although requested.  After being on the job for six months an election was held and two members of a five-member Board were elected that campaigned on a need for change in the administration. With the first budget proposal and the granting of a 5% increase to the employees, the Council elected to withhold it from the City Manager.