Refrain from all political activities which undermine public confidence in professional administrators. Refrain from participating in the election of the members of the employing legislative body.


Elections of the Governing Body. Members should maintain a reputation for serving equally and impartially all members of the governing body of the local government they serve, regardless of the party. To this end, they should not engage in active participation in the election campaign on behalf of or in opposition to candidates for the governing body.

Elections of Elected Executives. Members should not engage in the election campaign of any candidate for mayor or elected county executive.

Other Elections. Members share with their fellow citizens the right and responsibility to exercise their franchise and voice their opinion on public issues. However, in order not to impair their effectiveness on behalf of the local governments they serve, they should not participate in election campaigns for representatives from their area to county, school, state, and federal offices.

Elections on the Council-Manager Plan. Members may assist in preparing and presenting materials that explain the council-manager form of government to the public prior to an election on the use of the plan. If assistance is required by another community, members may respond. All activities regarding ballot issues should be conducted within local regulations and in a professional manner.

Presentation of Issues. Members may assist the governing body in presenting issues involved in referenda such as bond issues, annexations, and similar matters.

Case Study

A City Charter Review Committee has formally reported three amendments for a referendum at the next regularly scheduled election. The City Council, subsequent to reviewing and approving the attorney’s ballot language, directed the City Manager to initiate an educational campaign including speaking engagements and mail outs. One Charter amendment would change the term of office for City Councilmembers from two to four years. Another amendment would abolish Councilmember districts, allowing all candidates to run at-large. The third Charter change would require four votes (four-fifths) to terminate the City Manager rather than the current three votes (three-fifths). The City Manager expects there will be opposition from the minority community to abolishing the Councilmember districts. The manager is also concerned that it will appear “self-serving” to represent support for any Charter change that will make it more difficult to terminate him.