Ethics Handbook for City of Springfield Board Members
- I. Introduction
- II. Types of Boards
- A. Administrative Boards
- B. Advisory Boards
- C. Quasi-Judicial Boards
- D. Limited Not-for-Profit Corporations
- E. Special Purpose Districts or Boards Provided for by State Law
- III. Obtaining an Advisory Board Opinion
- IV. Perception of Conflict of Interest
- V. Penalties
- VI. Conclusion
- A. Article VII, Section 8 of the Constitution of the State of Missouri
- B. Sections 105.452, 105.454 and 160.010 of Revised Statutes of Missouri (1994)
- C. Sections 15.5, 16.5 and 19.16 of Springfield City Charter
- D. Chapter 2, Article IV, Section 2-34 of Springfield City Code
- E. Examples of Conflict of Interest
Thank you for agreeing to serve the citizens of Springfield as a volunteer appointee. Your time and commitment help make this a good community. Your contribution is deeply appreciated. We are eager to help you.
The City of Springfield has 28 volunteer boards serving the citizens of Springfield. Just as boards have carefully defined responsibilities, individual board members have obligations that must be understood clearly.
This handbook is provided to help guide your actions and to protect your integrity and that of the City's governing bodies.
If you have any questions, please ask for advice before you act.
Oath of office helps you and citizens to build trust.
Each volunteer board member swears to an oath upon being appointed and agrees to uphold the obligations of the office. One is to avoid any "conflict of interest" that betrays public trust. Another is to conduct all the City's deliberations in public, except in rare exceptions provided specifically for by Missouri's open meetings law. Building public confidence in all that you do is as important as anything else you do.
Missouri's Conflict of Interest laws and the ordinances and policies of the City of Springfield protect you and the public. Simply put, avoid any decision or discussion that compromises your or the City's integrity in the eyes of the public. If it seems wrong, ask for advice.
Inadvertent, seemingly innocent, actions in government can be construed as intentional and harmful. Perceptions often can be as damaging as reality in the eyes of the public. Our goal in offering these guidelines is to avoid any hint of conflict that may be hurtful to you, your fellow board members, to our community and its citizens.
On the last page of this handbook is a statement you are asked to sign that says you understand and agree to uphold your commitment to the citizens of Springfield--and to yourself.
Common sense is the best guide, but when in doubt, ask for help.
Conflict of interest violations can be sensitive and even inadvertent. Common sense is a good guide. No handbook can anticipate every situation or question.
When in doubt, ask for the advice of the Law Department. Asking does not relieve you of obligation, but it offers professional help from those who know the law. By asking, you demonstrate good faith so long as you follow the advice you receive.