Appendix D

Springfield City Code Chapter 2, Article IV, Section 2-34

Sec. 2-34
-Code of Ethics - Board Members.

Declaration of Policy
The public judges its government by the way board members conduct themselves in the posts to which they are appointed. The people have a right to expect every board member to conduct himself or herself in a manner that will tend to preserve public confidence in and respect for the board on which he or she serves. Such confidence and respect can best be promoted if every board member will uniformly:
  • Treat all citizens with courtesy, impartiality, fairness and equality under the law.
  • Avoid both actual and potential conflicts between their private self-interest and the public interest.
To help board members achieve these goals is one of the objectives of the section. The other objective is based on the proposition that no person can serve 2 masters, nor should he or she attempt to do so. Therefore, this code proposes to relieve board members of the impossible task of judging themselves. Board members are encouraged to obtain an advisory opinion from the City Attorney whenever there is any doubt as to the applicability of the Code of Ethics pursuant to provisions of this section and the city charter.

The following definitions shall apply to this article:
  • Administrative Board:
    • Airport Board
    • Board of Public Utilities
    • The Art Museum Board
    • The Park Board
  • Board: Any agency, board, body, commission or committee of the city where the appointments of members are made or approved by the City Council except appointments made to a state authorized board, body, commission or committee.
  • Board Member: Members of all boards when the appointment is made or approved by the City Council.
  • Financial Interest: Any interest which shall yield, directly or indirectly, a monetary or other material benefit to a board member.
  • Personal Interest: Any interest arising from blood or marriage relationships or from close business or political associations whether or not any financial interest is involved.
  • Person: Any individual, firm, association, group, partnership or corporation or any combination thereof.
Conflicts of Interest
Provisions applicable to only Administrative Boards (Parks, Art Museum, Airport and Board of Public Utilities). In addition to provisions of state law and the city charter, members of an Administrative Board shall not:
  • Grant or make available to any person any advantage or favor beyond that which it is the general practice to make available to the public at large.
  • Permit the use of publicly owned or supported property or services for the personal convenience or advantage of the board member or any other person except when it is the general practice of the board to make this available to the public at large or when it is the policy of the board to make this available for the use of public officials in the conduct of their official business.
Provisions applicable to all boards including Administrative Boards. In addition to provisions of state law and the city charter, no board members shall:
  • Without prior formal authorization of the board, disclose any confidential information concerning any official or employee, or any other person, or any property or governmental affairs of the board
  • Fail to attend 3 consecutive meetings without a good reason
  • Appear on behalf of private interests before the board on which you are a member or represent private interests in any action or proceeding against the interests of the board
  • Accept any valuable gift, whether in the form of service, loan, thing, or promise, from any person who to his or her knowledge is interested directly or indirectly in any manner whatsoever in business dealings with the board on which they are a member
    • Accept any gift, favor or thing of value that may tend to influence you in the discharge of your duties
    • Grant in the discharge of your duties any improper favor, service or thing of value
  • Purchase of a meal for a board member shall not be a valuable gift
  • The prohibition against gifts or favors shall not apply to an occasional nonpecuniary gift, insignificant in value, or an award publicly presented in recognition of public service, or any gift which would have been offered or given if her or she were not a board member
Disclosure of Interest in Matters
A board member who has a financial or other personal interest in any matter shall disclose on the records of the board the nature and extent of such interest and may vote on such matter provided the member is not prohibited from voting by some other provision of law. This provision shall not apply if the board member disqualifies himself or herself from voting.

Advisory Opinions
Where any board member has a doubt as to the applicability of any provision of this code to a particular situation or as to the definition of terms used herein, he or she may request from the City Attorney an advisory opinion.

Ethics Handbook
The City Council hereby approves the Ethics Handbook for the City of Springfield board members, a copy of which is on file with the City Clerk. A copy of the Ethics Handbook shall be provided by the City Clerk to all prospective board members prior to their appointment to a city board. Board members shall be required to certify that they have read the Ethics Handbook and to abide by its provisions. The City Attorney is hereby authorized to keep the Ethics Handbook up to date by publishing therein any changes to state or city laws.

In order to provide a plain English version of this ordinance, the text of state law and city law has been paraphrased in the Ethics Handbook. The actual language of state or city law shall control over the plain English version.