Grantville may become City of Ethics
by W. Winston Skinner
Grantville has taken the first step toward becoming a City of Ethics, through a program offered by the Georgia Municipal Association.
A resolution was passed unanimously by the city council Monday, and an ordinance is expected to be approved by the council next month. The ordinance “sets out a code of ethics and provides for the appointment of an ethics board to hold hearings that might be necessary” resulting from complaints, said Mark Mitchell, Grantville’s city attorney.
The ordinance would also set up a complaint process for citizens to deal with ethics lapses by officials.
Once the paperwork is done, it will be submitted to GMA. “At an upcoming GMA meeting, they would recognize the city as a City of Ethics,” Mitchell explained.
GMA appointed an Ethics Task Force in 1998 to address concerns over a trend toward less confidence in public officials. The task force included municipal elected officials from across the state, as well as community and industry leaders and academics. "Model Code of Ethics for Georgia City Officials" was first published in September 1999, when GMA's Certified City of Ethics program began. The resolution approved by the Grantville council called upon the mayor and council to specific ethical principles:
•Serve others, not themselves.
• Use resources with efficiency and economy.
• Treat all people fairly.
• Use their power for the well-being of their constituents.
• Create an environment of honesty, openness and integrity.
If Grantville completes the process, it will be the fifth Coweta city to do so. Haralson, Newnan, Senoia and Sharpsburg are already certified with the GMA program.
Cities approved by GMA can use the City of Ethics logo on signage and stationery, Mitchell said.