City of Smithville, MO
Clay County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents

Section 135.010 Declaration of Policy.

[Ord. No. 2895-14 §1, 7-1-2014[1]; Ord. No. 2954-16 §1, 9-6-2016]
It is the policy of the City of Smithville, Missouri, to uphold, promote and demand ethical conduct from its elected and appointed public officials (hereinafter "public officials"). The citizens and businesses of the City are entitled to have fair, ethical and accountable local government. The City recognizes the importance of codifying and making known to the general public the ethical principles that guide the work of public officials. Public officials of the City are to maintain the highest standards of personal integrity, truthfulness and fairness in carrying out their public duties. In order to fulfill this mission, the City hereby adopts a Code of Ethics for public officials to assure public confidence in the integrity of local government and its effective and fair operation. Unless specifically defined otherwise, the terms used in Chapter 135 shall be defined as set forth in Section 105.450, RSMo., et seq., as now adopted or hereinafter amended.
[1]
Editor's Note: Section 1 of this ordinance also repealed former Ch. 135, Code of Ethics, as adopted and amended by Ord. No. 1407 §1, 8-27-1991; Res. of 8-15-1995; Ord. No. 1805-98 §§1 — 2, 8-18-1998; Ord. No. 2022-01 §§1 — 3, 8-21-2001; Ord. No. 2110-02 §§1 — 2, 8-20-2002; Ord. No. 2110-03 §§1 — 2, 8-19-2003; Ord. No. 2303-04 §§1 — 3, 8-17-2004; Ord. No. 2402-05 §§1 — 2, 8-16-2005; Ord. No. 2483-06 §§1 — 2, 8-1-2006; Ord. No. 2568-07 §§1 — 2, 7-17-2007; Ord. No. 2717-09 §§1 — 2, 6-2-2009; Ord. No. 2768-10 §§1 — 2, 9-7-2010; Ord. No. 2844-12 §§1 — 2, 8-7-2012.

Section 135.020 Responsibility of Public Office.

[Ord. No. 2895-14 §1, 7-1-2014; Ord. No. 2954-16 §1, 9-6-2016]
Stewardship of the public interest shall be the public official's primary concern, working for the common good of the citizens of the City and avoiding actions that are inconsistent with the best interests of the City. All persons, claims and transactions coming before the Board of Aldermen or any City board, commission or committee shall be assured of fair and equal treatment.

Section 135.030 Compliance With Laws.

[Ord. No. 2895-14 §1, 7-1-2014; Ord. No. 2954-16 §1, 9-6-2016]
Public officials are agents of public purpose and hold office for the benefit of the public. They are bound to uphold the laws of the nation, State and the City and to carry out impartially these laws in the performance of their public duties to foster respect for all government. These laws include, but are not limited to, the United States and Missouri Constitutions, the laws of the State of Missouri and City ordinances.

Section 135.040 Conduct of Officials.

[Ord. No. 2895-14 §1, 7-1-2014; Ord. No. 2954-16 §1, 9-6-2016]
The professional and personal conduct of public officials shall be above reproach and shall avoid even the appearance of impropriety. Public officials shall refrain from abusive conduct, personal charges or verbal attacks upon the character or motives of the Mayor, other members of the Board of Aldermen, boards, commissions, committees, City staff and the public.

Section 135.050 Performance of Duties.

[Ord. No. 2895-14 §1, 7-1-2014; Ord. No. 2954-16 §1, 9-6-2016]
Public officials shall perform their duties in accordance with the processes and rules of order as established by the Board of Aldermen, boards, commissions and committees governing the deliberation of public policy issues, meaningful involvement of the public and implementation of policy decisions of the Board of Aldermen by City staff.

Section 135.060 Public Meetings.

[Ord. No. 2895-14 §1, 7-1-2014; Ord. No. 2954-16 §1, 9-6-2016]
Public officials shall prepare themselves for the public issues, listening courteously and attentively to all public discussion before the body and focus on the business at hand. Public officials shall refrain from interrupting other speakers, making personal comments not relevant to the business of the body or otherwise interfere with the orderly conduct of meetings.

Section 135.070 Decision Based on Merit.

[Ord. No. 2895-14 §1, 7-1-2014; Ord. No. 2954-16 §1, 9-6-2016]
Public officials shall base their decisions on the merits and the substance at hand.

Section 135.080 Communication.

[Ord. No. 2895-14 §1, 7-1-2014; Ord. No. 2954-16 §1, 9-6-2016]
Unless otherwise prohibited by law, privilege or the rules of evidence, public officials shall publicly share with the Board of Aldermen or any boards, commissions and/or committees of the City any substantive information that is relevant to a matter under consideration by said entity of which they have knowledge from any source.

Section 135.090 Conflict of Interest.

[Ord. No. 2895-14 §1, 7-1-2014; Ord. No. 2954-16 §1, 9-6-2016]
A. 
In order to assure independence and impartiality on behalf of the common good, public officials shall not use their official positions to influence government decisions in which they have a substantial interest or personal relationship, or which may reasonably give rise to the appearance of a conflict of interest or impropriety.
B. 
The Mayor or any member of the Board of Aldermen who has a substantial interest in any bill shall disclose on the records of the Board of Aldermen the nature of his or her interest and shall disqualify himself or herself from participation in deliberation or voting on any matters relating to this interest.
C. 
Public officials should avoid action, whether or not specifically prohibited, which might reasonably result in or create the appearance of using their public office for private gain.

Section 135.100 Gifts, Gratuities and Favors.

[Ord. No. 2895-14 §1, 7-1-2014; Ord. No. 2954-16 §1, 9-6-2016]
Public officials shall comply with the requirements of Chapter 105, RSMo., relating to the acceptance and reporting of gifts, gratuities and favors.

Section 135.110 Confidentiality of Information.

[Ord. No. 2895-14 §1, 7-1-2014; Ord. No. 2954-16 §1, 9-6-2016]
Unless approved by the Board of Aldermen, no elected or appointed public official shall disclose or make public any information which is otherwise closed to the public pursuant to Section 610.021, RSMo. or otherwise protected from disclosure by Missouri or Federal law. No public official shall use or provide information obtained as a result of his or her position for the benefit of the public official or the recipient in an advantageous position over the general public.

Section 135.120 Use of Public Resources.

[Ord. No. 2895-14 §1, 7-1-2014; Ord. No. 2954-16 §1, 9-6-2016]
A. 
Unless specifically permitted by City policy, the use of City facilities, equipment, vehicles, supplies, on-duty personnel or other goods or services is limited to City business. Public resources may not be used for private gain or personal purposes except on the same basis that they are otherwise normally available to the public. Normal rental or usage fees may not be waived except in accordance with City policy.
B. 
A public official shall not utilize the City's name, letterhead, logo or seal for the purpose of endorsing any political candidate, business, commercial product or service.

Section 135.130 Advocacy.

[Ord. No. 2895-14 §1, 7-1-2014; Ord. No. 2954-16 §1, 9-6-2016]
As nonpartisan stewards of the public interest, the Mayor and members of the Board of Aldermen shall not appear on behalf of the private interests of third parties before the Board of Aldermen or any other board, commission, committee or proceeding in the City. Public officials of boards, commissions and committees shall not appear before their own bodies or before the Board of Aldermen on behalf of the private interests of third parties on matters related to the areas of service of their bodies. Public officials shall represent the official policies or positions of the City to the best of their abilities when designated as delegates for this purpose. When representing their individual opinions and positions, public officials shall explicitly state that they do not represent their body or the City and they shall not give the inference that they do.

Section 135.140 Policy Role of Members.

[Ord. No. 2895-14 §1, 7-1-2014; Ord. No. 2954-16 §1, 9-6-2016]
Public officials shall respect and adhere to the City Administrator form of government as outlined in the ordinances, policies and procedures with respect to the City Administrator's relationship to the Board of Aldermen. In this structure, the Board of Aldermen determines the policies of the City with the advice, information and analysis provided by the public, boards, commissions, committees and City staff. Individual Board of Aldermen members shall not, except at the direction of the entire Board of Aldermen, have any role in the administrative functions of the City or the professional duties of City staff or the implementation of City policy or decisions. This prohibition shall not apply to the Mayor, nor the Mayor Pro Tem acting in the Mayor's absence. Additionally, this prohibition shall not apply to any individual Board of Aldermen's ability to obtain information reasonably necessary to perform his or her duties.

Section 135.150 Independence of Boards, Commissions and Committees.

[Ord. No. 2895-14 §1, 7-1-2014; Ord. No. 2954-16 §1, 9-6-2016]
The value of independent advice and recommendations of boards, commissions and committees to the public decision-making process is of such significance that members of the Board of Aldermen should refrain from using their positions to influence the deliberations or outcomes of board, commission and committee proceedings. This prohibition is not meant to include the actions of any Board of Aldermen when acting as a member of any such committee.

Section 135.160 Behavior.

[Ord. No. 2895-14 §1, 7-1-2014; Ord. No. 2954-16 §1, 9-6-2016]
All City elected and appointed officials shall conduct themselves in a professional business manner and should refrain from the public use of profane or offensive language so as to reflect well on the City.

Section 135.170 Positive Workplace Environment.

[Ord. No. 2895-14 §1, 7-1-2014; Ord. No. 2954-16 §1, 9-6-2016]
Public officials shall support the maintenance of a positive and constructive workplace environment for the City employees and for citizens and businesses dealing with the City.

Section 135.180 Implementation.

[Ord. No. 2895-14 §1, 7-1-2014; Ord. No. 2954-16 §1, 9-6-2016]
A. 
The Code of Ethics for public officials of the City is intended to be self-enforcing. Therefore, it becomes most effective when public officials are thoroughly familiar with it and embrace its provisions. For this reason, these ethical standards shall be included in the regular orientation of candidates for Board of Aldermen, newly elected officials and appointed members of all boards, commissions and committees of the City.
B. 
The Code of Ethics shall be reviewed biannually by the Board of Aldermen. Recommendations received from the review shall be considered by the Board of Aldermen.

Section 135.190 Compliance and Enforcement.

[Ord. No. 2895-14 §1, 7-1-2014; Ord. No. 2954-16 §1, 9-6-2016]
A. 
The City's Code of Ethics expresses standards of ethical conduct expected for the public officials of the Board of Aldermen, boards, commissions and committees. Public officials themselves have the primary responsibility to assure that ethical standards are understood and met and that the public can continue to have full confidence in the integrity of the government.
B. 
A person making a complaint against a public official for violation of this policy shall submit the complaint, in writing, to the Mayor who shall conduct or cause to be conducted an investigation as he or she reasonably believes is warranted by the complaint. The Mayor may request the aid of the City Attorney, Police or other City employees with said investigation. The Mayor may choose to disregard any anonymous complaint or complaint not based on personal or credible evidence as determined in the sole discretion of the Mayor. If the Mayor determines that the complaint may warrant disciplinary action by the Board of Aldermen, the Mayor shall cause a special session of the Board of Aldermen to be held for the purpose of conducting a hearing with regard to said allegations/complaint, said hearing to be conducted pursuant to the Missouri Administrative Procedures Act, Section 536.010, RSMo., et seq., as now adopted or hereinafter amended.
C. 
Any complaint concerning the Mayor shall be made to the Mayor Pro Tern who shall have the same authority as the Mayor set forth above when reviewing any such complaint.
D. 
The Board of Aldermen shall make a final determination upon a majority vote of all members, except for any member of the Board of Aldermen who is the subject of a complaint. The standard of proof required for a final determination of violation of this policy (unless otherwise required by law) shall be a preponderance of the evidence. At the discretion of the Board of Aldermen, sanctions may include private or public reprimand or censure, removal or exclusion from leadership positions, the governing board, and other official positions or duties that do not conflict with Missouri Statutes.

Section 135.200 (Reserved)

Section 135.210 Disclosure Reports.

[Ord. No. 2895-14 §1, 7-1-2014; Ord. No. 2954-16 §1, 9-6-2016]
A. 
Each elected official, the City Clerk, the City Administrator and the Chief Purchasing Officer (if some other individual) shall disclose the following information by May 1 regarding any such transactions which were engaged in during the previous calendar year:
1. 
For such person, and all persons within the first degree of consanguinity or affinity of such person, the date and identities of the parties to each transaction with a total value in excess of five hundred dollars ($500.00), if any, that such person had with the political subdivision, and other than transfers for no consideration to the political subdivision (if none, state none); and
2. 
The date and the identities of the parties to each transaction known to the person with a total value in excess of five hundred dollars ($500.00), if any, that any business entity in which such person had a substantial interest had with the political subdivision, other than payment of any tax, fee or penalty due to the political subdivision or transactions involving payment for providing utility service to the political subdivision, and other than transfers for no consideration to the political subdivision (if none, state none).
3. 
The City Administrator, City Clerk and the Chief Purchasing Officer also shall disclose by May 1 for the previous calendar year the following information:
a. 
The name and address of each of the employers of such person from whom income of one thousand dollars ($1,000.00) or more was received during the year covered by the statement;
b. 
The name and address of each sole proprietorship that he owned; the name, address and the general nature of the business conducted of each general partnership and joint venture in which he was a partner or participant; the name and address of each partner or coparticipant for each partnership or joint venture unless such names and addresses are filed by the partnership or joint venture with the Secretary of State; the name, address and general nature of the business conducted of any closely held corporation or limited partnership in which the person owned ten percent (10%) or more of any class of the outstanding stock or limited partnership units; and the name of any publicly traded corporation or limited partnership that is listed on a regulated stock exchange or automated quotation system in which the person owned two percent (2%) or more of any class of outstanding stock, limited partnership units or other equity interests;
c. 
The name and address of each corporation for which such person served in the capacity of a director, officer or receiver.

Section 135.220 Filing of Reports.

[Ord. No. 2895-14 §1, 7-1-2014; Ord. No. 2954-16 §1, 9-6-2016]
The reports, in the attached format, shall be filed with the City Clerk and with the Missouri Ethics Commission. The reports shall be available for public inspection and copying during normal business hours.

Section 135.230 When Filed.

[Ord. No. 2895-14 §1, 7-1-2014; Ord. No. 2954-16 §1, 9-6-2016]
A. 
The financial interest statements shall be filed at the following times, but no person is required to file more than one (1) financial interest statement in any calendar year:
1. 
Each person appointed to office shall file the statement within thirty (30) days of such appointment;
2. 
Every other person required to file a financial interest statement shall file the statement annually not later than May 1 and December 31; provided that any member of the Board of Aldermen may supplement the financial interest statement to report additional interests acquired after December 31 of the covered year until the date of filing of the financial interest statement.

Section 135.240 Filing of Chapter.

[Ord. No. 2895-14 §1, 7-1-2014; Ord. No. 2954-16 §1, 9-6-2016]
The City Clerk shall send a certified copy of this Chapter to the Missouri Ethics Commission within ten (10) days of its adoption.