Not only is Marietta, Georgia the jewel of Cobb County, just northwest of Atlanta, but is also a city known for its ethical practices of governing.
The Georgia Municipal Association (GMA) at its annual convention in Savannah in June recertified Marietta as a City of Ethics for adopting an ethics ordinance and adopting and following key ethical principles. GMA initially certified Marietta as a City of Ethics in 2000.
Established in 1999 by a panel of business and government leaders, the City of Ethics program is voluntary and encourages cities to adopt and follow a set of key ethical principles, and adopt a local ethics ordinance. The ordinance must contain definitions, prohibited conduct and due process for officials accused of violations in areas such as financial disclosures, conflicts of interests and outside employment. The ordinance must also contain penalties for city officials who violate the ordinance.
This year, the Georgia Municipal Association (GMA) began requiring cities to recertify for the program, ensuring that ordinances maintain program standards and city officials are reminded of their ethical obligations as individuals and as a governing body. Each city is required to apply for recertification every four years.
“We’re extremely proud that more than 200 cities have voluntarily adopted strong ethics ordinances,” GMA Executive Director Jim Higdon said. “It is significant that cities have taken the lead on earning and maintaining the public’s trust in government,” he said. “Recertification allows new councilmembers, who may have been elected after the original ordinance was adopted, to pledge their support for ethical behavior and standards.”
A panel of attorneys reviewed the ordinances to determine if they comply with the criteria set by GMA. As a City of Ethics, Marietta can use a “Certified City of Ethics” logo on city stationery, road signs, city vehicles and for other uses.
There are currently 207 Certified Cities of Ethics in Georgia.
About the Georgia Municipal Association
Created in 1933, the Georgia Municipal Association is the only state organization that represents municipal governments in Georgia. Based in Atlanta, GMA is a voluntary, non-profit organization that provides legislative advocacy, educational, employee benefit and technical consulting services to its members.
GMA’s membership totals more than 502 municipal governments, accounting for more than 99 percent of the state’s municipal population.
Indeed it is an honor for Marietta to be proclaimed a “Certified City of Ethics.” Its residents are proud citizens of their community.
Author:Anne Ortiz (Maximum One Realty Greater Atlanta)