Noelle Monferdini

Tucker City Council District 2, Post 2

(9) Ethics. To adopt ethics ordinances and regulations governing such things as, but not limited to, the conduct of municipal elected officials, appointed officials, contractors, vendors, and employees; establishing procedures for ethics complaints; and setting forth penalties for violations of such rules and procedures.

Noelle Monferdini would like to see a well-drafted ethics ordinance that would show public officials exactly what standards they are expected to uphold to gain and keep the trust of their constituents.

Ethics in government is not merely the absence of corruption but the presence of trust. Ethics laws and enforcement efforts aimed solely at deterring corruption fail to address that simple truth. Indeed, they foster the unjustified notion that public officials are inherently dishonest. Such a policy not only fails to achieve its narrow goal of combating corruption but also destroys trust in municipal officials and thus ultimately undermines both the perception and reality of integrity in government. The purpose of ethics laws lies not in the making of rules nor in the amassing of information nor even in the punishment of wrongdoers, but rather in the creation of a more ethical government, in perception and in fact. In the end, the touchstone of integrity in government resides in the willingness of good citizens to serve in state and local government. Laws and agencies that discourage that willingness to serve do far more harm than good. When good citizens clamor to join the ranks of state and local officials, the ethical health of the state and local communities becomes stronger.

Mark Davies, 1987 Ethics in Government Act: Financial Disclosure Provisions for Municipal Officials and Proposals for Reform, 11 PACE L. Rev. 243, 266-267 (1991).