[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of North Salem 10-11-1973. Section 18-4 amended at time of adoption of Code; see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I. Other amendments noted where applicable.]
The proper and unbiased function of the North Salem Town government requires that its officers and employees be independent, impartial and responsible to the people of the Town in fulfilling their public duties. The purpose of this Code of Ethics is to set forth for these officers and employees the standards of conduct that will assure this goal, in conjunction with and in addition to those standards prescribed in Article 18 of the General Municipal Law.
All sections of this code shall apply fully and equally to all officers and employees of the North Salem Town government, be they elected or appointed, paid or unpaid, including members of all Town boards, commissions and other agencies.
No Town officer or employee shall have any direct or indirect interest, nor shall his spouse or minor children have any interest, in any contract with the Town which constitutes a conflict of interest under § 801 of the General Municipal Law, but subject to the exceptions in § 802 of the General Municipal Law.
Following the enactment of this code, every current Town officer and employee shall, within 60 days, and every new Town officer and employee shall, prior to taking office, sign and file with the Town Board a disclosure statement in the form annexed to this code. Such disclosure statement shall set forth accurately and completely any activity or interest of the officer or employee in question and, to the best of his knowledge and belief, of his spouse and minor children, which might constitute a violation of this code and any interest in any contract with the Town, whether or not a violation, which must be disclosed under § 803 of the General Municipal Law. Every Town officer and employee shall thereafter file an amended disclosure statement, in the same form, as may be required from time to time to assure that the current disclosure statement for each officer and employee is accurate and complete. All original and amended disclosure statements shall be maintained as a distinct part of the Town's public records.
Editor's Note: Disclosure forms are on file in the office of the Town Clerk and may be examined there during regular business hours.
No Town officer or employee shall represent any private interest, person or entity, other than himself, before the Town Board or any Town commission, board or other agency in any matter in which there is an agreement, express or implied, that said officer or employee shall be compensated for such services.
As provided in § 809 of the General Municipal Law and subject to the exceptions of that section, every application, petition or request relating to the zoning and planning regulations of the Town of North Salem shall set forth the name, residence and interest of each Town officer or employee and each state officer having any interest in the party making such application, petition or request.
No Town officer or employee shall disclose or use for profit or to advance any private interest of himself or any other party any confidential information about the property, affairs or government of the Town of North Salem.
No Town officer or employee shall directly or indirectly solicit for himself or any other party any gift or accept any gift having a value of $75 or more, whether in the form of money, service, loan, travel, entertainment, hospitality, thing or promise or in any other form, under circumstances in which it could reasonably be inferred that the gift was intended to influence him or could reasonably be expected to influence him in the performance of his official duties or was intended as a reward for any official action on his part.
No Town officer or employee shall use or permit the use of Town property of any kind for personal convenience or profit except when such use is available to Town citizens generally or when the Town Board has approved such use as a matter of Town policy.
No Town officer or employee shall use the influence of his position to solicit or otherwise to bring about any contribution for any political party or any candidate for public office; nor shall any Town facilities, materials or services or the compensated time of any Town officer or employee be used to solicit or otherwise to bring about any such contribution.
A violation of Article 18 of the General Municipal Law or any provision of this Code of Ethics shall be grounds for suspension, removal from office or employment, a fine or such other lawful disciplinary action as the Town Board shall determine. Such disciplinary action shall be in addition to any other applicable remedy under Article 18 of the General Municipal Law or any other state law.
The Town Supervisor shall cause a copy of this Code of Ethics and of Article 18 of the General Municipal Law to be distributed to every current Town officer and employee within 30 days of its enactment and to every new Town officer and employee prior to his taking office. The Town Supervisor shall also cause a copy of this code and Article 18 of the General Municipal Law, as revised from time to time, to be posted in a conspicuous location in every Town building. Failure to comply with the provisions of this section shall not affect the duty of compliance with or the enforcement of this code and Article 18 of the General Municipal Law.
This Code of Ethics is adopted by ordinance pursuant to § 806 of Article 18 of the General Municipal Law.
Pursuant to § 808 of Article 18 of the General Municipal Law, there is hereby established the North Salem Board of Ethics. The Board shall be composed of three members who shall be appointed by and serve at the pleasure of the Town Board. All members of the Board of Ethics shall be residents of the Town of North Salem and shall serve without compensation. At all times, one member of the Board of Ethics shall be an individual who is otherwise a Town officer or employee, and the other two members shall be individuals who are not otherwise officers or employees of the Town.
The Board of Ethics shall accept written requests for opinions concerning the possible violation of the North Salem Code of Ethics and/or Article 18 of the General Municipal Law by the activities and/or interests of Town officers and employees in the following circumstances and only in the following circumstances:
Requests by the Town Board may involve either inquiries initiated by the Town Board itself or inquiries which the Town Board has received from a member of the public in the form of a signed and dated written inquiry bearing the signer's residence address and which the Town Board has referred to the Board of Ethics accompanied by the Town Board's own request that the Board of Ethics consider the matter and render an advisory opinion. In no event shall the Board of Ethics render any advisory opinions on its own initiative or in response to inquiries received directly from members of the public.
In considering such requests, the Board of Ethics shall follow the following procedures:
If any request involves the activities or interests of any member of the Board of Ethics, the Town Board shall appoint a temporary replacement to sit in such member's place.
The Board shall afford individuals whose activities and interests are involved in the request an opportunity to appear before the Board and be heard, unless the Board concludes that, on the face of the request, the activities and/or interests in question clearly involve no violation of the Code of Ethics or Article 18 of the General Municipal Law. The Board also may afford an opportunity to appear and be heard to such other persons as the Board, in its discretion, feels might provide information useful in considering the request.
In considering requests and preparing advisory opinions, the Board shall have the advice of the Town Attorney. The Board shall maintain records of requests received and opinions rendered and may adopt such other rules, consistent with the provisions of this chapter and § 808 of the General Municipal Law, as it deems advisable.
In its discretion, the Board of Ethics may refer any request to the Westchester County Board of Ethics, as provided in § 808, Subdivision 4, of the General Municipal Law.
Advisory opinions requested under § 18-2B(1)(a) above shall be rendered to the party making the request, and, if the opinion concludes that there has been an actual violation of the Code of Ethics and/or Article 18 of the General Municipal Law, a copy thereof shall be provided to the Town Board. Advisory opinions requested under § 18-2B(1)(b) above shall be rendered to the Town Board.
The Board of Ethics may consider, develop and transmit to the Town Board recommendations concerning possible amendments to the Code of Ethics, either at the request of the Town Board or at the initiative of the Board of Ethics itself.