[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Council of the Town of South Berwick as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
To achieve effective and democratic local government, the Council-Manager Plan provides that policies shall be determined by the governing body elected by the people and that the administration of such policies shall be vested in the Town Manager, who shall be appointed by and be responsible to the governing body. The purpose is to increase the proficiency of Town Managers and to aid in the improvement of municipal government. To further these objectives, it is believed that certain ethical principles should govern the conduct of every Town Manager.
No member of the profession accepts a position as Town Manager unless he is fully in accord with the principles of Council-Manager government and unless he is confident that he is qualified to serve to the advantage of the community.
The Town Manager has a firm belief in the dignity and worth of the services rendered by government. He has a constructive, creative and practical attitude toward Town problems and a deep sense of his own social responsibility as a trusted public servant.
The Town Manager is governed by the highest ideals of honor and integrity in all his public and personal relationships in order that he may merit the respect and confidence of the governing body, of other officials and employees and of the public which he serves. He believes that personal aggrandizement or profit secured by confidential information or by misuse of public time is dishonest.
The Town Manager as a community leader submits policy proposals to the Council and provides the Council with facts and advice on matters of policy to give the Council a basis for making decisions on community goals. The Town Manager defends municipal policies publicly only after consideration and adoption of such policies by the Council.
The Town Manager realizes that the Council, the elected representative of the people, is entitled to the credit for the establishment of municipal policies. The Town Manager avoids coming in public conflict with the Council on controversial issues. Credit or blame for policy execution rests with the Town Manager.
The Town Manager considers it his duty continually to improve his ability and his usefulness and to develop the competence of his associates.
The Town Manager keeps the community informed on municipal affairs. He emphasizes friendly and courteous service to the public. He recognizes that the chief function of the local government at all times is to serve the best interests of all the people on a nonpartisan basis.
The Town Manager, in order to preserve his integrity as a professional administrator, resists any encroachment on his responsibility for personnel, believes he should be free to carry out Council policies without interference and deals frankly with the Council as a unit rather than with its individual members.
The Town Manager handles all matters of personnel on the basis of merit. Fairness and impartiality govern the Town Manager in all matters pertaining to appointments, pay adjustments, promotions and discipline in the municipal service.
The Town Manager curries no favors. He handles each problem without discrimination on the basis of principle and justice.
In order to merit the respect and confidence of the general public, all employees and elected and appointed municipal officials of the Town of South Berwick must constantly be governed by the highest ideals of honor and integrity in all their public relationships. Employees shall conduct themselves in such a manner as to avoid even the appearance of impropriety. All employees are urged to familiarize themselves with the state and federal laws relating to prohibited conduct of public employees.
Any elected or appointed member to a Town board or committee who has a direct pecuniary (financial) interest in any question on which he or she must decide in an official capacity must make full disclosure of that interest on the record and must abstain from voting or attempting to influence a decision in his/her capacity as a board member.
Board members shall avoid even the appearance of a conflict of interest in order to maintain the public's confidence in the board's work.
A board member shall disqualify him/herself if a situation requires that board member to make a decision involving a person to whom the board member is related by blood or marriage within the sixth degree (parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, great-great-grandparents, brothers, sisters, children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, aunts, uncles, great-aunts/uncles, great-great-aunts/uncles, first cousins, nephews, nieces, grandnephews/nieces and great-grandnephews/nieces).
A member shall abstain from discussion and voting if he/she is biased against an applicant or project such that he/she could not make an impartial decision.
Town officials/employees shall conduct their official and personal affairs in such a manner so as to give the clear impression that they cannot be improperly influenced in the performance of their official duties.
Town officials/employees shall maintain a reputation for serving equally and impartially all members of the municipality they serve.
Town officials/employees shall not directly or indirectly solicit, accept or receive any gift, whether it be money, services, loans, merchandise, travel, entertainment, hospitality, promise or any other form, when it can be reasonably inferred that the gift was intended to influence them in the official performance of their duties or that the gift was intended to serve as a reward for any official action on their part.
Town officials/employees shall not disclose to others or use to further their personal interest confidential information acquired by them in the course of their official duties.
Individual department heads under the supervision of the Town Manager are responsible for enforcing the policy for Town employees. Each board or committee is responsible for examining conflict-of-interest issues of each of their members in accordance with guidelines established herein and by state and federal laws. It is recommended that boards adopt a practice of examining agenda items on the record at the start of meetings to determine if a conflict of interest situation exists.
The Town of South Berwick shall provide periodic training for board members to assist them in recognizing conflicts of interest and to familiarize them with state and federal laws.
Sanctions may be imposed in accordance with the laws of the State of Maine and of the United States government upon Town officials/employees who are found to have violated this policy.