The proper operation of democratic government requires that elected officials and their appointees be fair, impartial and responsive to the needs of the people and each other in the performance of their respective functions and duties; that decisions and policy be made in proper channels of the Town's governmental structure; that public office not be used for personal gain; and that elected officials and their appointees maintain a standard of conduct that will inspire public confidence in the integrity of the Town's government. In recognition of these goals, a Code of Ethics is hereby established for all elected officials and members and associate members of all Town agencies now existing or hereafter created.
This chapter is adopted by virtue of the authority conferred by the inhabitants of Bar Harbor through the Town Charter, § C-10A(9)(e).
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- The Town Council, Superintending School Committee, Warrant Committee, Housing Authority commission and all Town committees, commissions, boards, task forces or other public bodies now existing or hereafter created by virtue of any ordinance, motion, order, article, Charter amendment or resolve adopted by the Bar Harbor Town Council, Superintending School Committee, Warrant Committee or Town Meeting.
- Any entity through which business for profit or not for profit is conducted, including a corporation, partnership, proprietorship, firm, enterprise, franchise, association, organization or self-employed individual.
- CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION
- Any information, whether transmitted orally, digitally or in writing, which is obtained by reason of the public position or office held, and which is required or permitted to be confidential by state law.
- A member of the Bar Harbor Town Council.
- FINANCIAL INTEREST
- A direct or indirect interest having monetary or pecuniary value of $100 or more, including but not limited to the ownership of shares of stock. A member or any member of that person's immediate family who discloses a financial interest in a blind trust shall not be deemed to have a conflict of interest with regard to matters pertaining to assets held by the trust.
- IMMEDIATE FAMILY
- Spouse, children, parents, brothers, sisters, stepparents, grandparents, stepchildren, parents-in-law or foster parents, domestic partner or other party living in the same household.
- Any Town Council member, Superintending School Committee member, Warrant Committee member or person appointed by one of the foregoing bodies to membership or associate membership on a Town agency, except where the context clearly indicates otherwise.
- A. A direct or indirect interest, whether economic or otherwise, having value peculiar to a member, which may be altered as a result of any motion by an agency and which interest is not shared by the general public. In addition to the foregoing, a member participating in the debate or voting upon any of the following is categorically defined as having a special interest:
- (1) A request filed by or on behalf of an immediate family member; or
- (2) A request for which the member has been notified pursuant to an ordinance notification requirement for abutters; or
- (3) A request involving real property, the nearest point of which is within 300 feet of the lot line of a member’s home; or
- (4) A request involving a not-for-profit organization upon whose board a member serves.
- B. Notwithstanding the foregoing, a member participating in the debate or voting upon any of the following does not have a special interest:
- (1) A matter which a member reviews in two or more public capacities. By way of example, but not limitation: a Planning Board member also serving on the Warrant Committee or a Council member serving on the Ethics Commission.
- THIRD-PARTY INTEREST
- A person or business other than the member or any agency of the Bar Harbor Town government. This definition specifically includes as third parties a member's employer and clients, as well as other third-party relationships.
- TOWN COUNCIL
- For purposes of this chapter, references to the "Town Council" shall be construed to mean the Town Council of the Town of Bar Harbor.
In addition to the general penalty prescribed by § 1-18, violation of this chapter as determined by the Council after notice and hearing shall be grounds for discipline, up to and including removal from the agency.