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Blogs / ICMA Students: Trending from Tomorrow’s Leaders / Ethics in the Real World: Student Chapter Call Monday, March 21st, 1:00 p.m. ET

Ethics in the Real World: Student Chapter Call Monday, March 21st, 1:00 p.m. ET

ICMA Student Chapter Conference Call:

Ethics in the Real World

Ethics is often positioned as the ultimate battle between good and evil. Think the Avengers meet Ultron! A universe where winning is a simple challenge of choosing right from wrong.

In reality, making ethical choices is far more complex and nuanced. Situations present right but competing values. Or you do the right thing but get drawn into the fray by the unethical conduct of others. Maybe your good intentions are overshadowed by the appearance of wrongdoing. That venerable ICMA Code of Ethics that you studied in your ethics course or is hanging on your wall is invaluable as you navigate real world challenges in local government.

Join ICMA’s Director of Ethics, Martha Perego, for an interactive session on how the values and guidelines of the Code apply to you. And how they help professionals at all levels of their career deal with job offers, politics, personal relationships, conflicts of interest and more. This will be an informal conversation so come prepared to ask your question. What is your ethical dilemma? When you read the Code, what if any part is confusing? Is it relevant to you?

Join the conversation:

WebEx meeting
Meeting number: 731 803 096  

Join by phone 
+1-855-282-6330 US TOLL FREE 
+1-415-655-0003 US TOLL 
Access code: 731 803 096 
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Can't attend the call? Send any questions in advance of the call to The discussion will be recorded and available after the call.

ICMA Code of Ethics

Tenet 1

Be dedicated to the concepts of effective and democratic local government by responsible elected officials and believe that professional general management is essential to the achievement of this objective.

Tenet 2

Affirm the dignity and worth of the services rendered by government and maintain a constructive, creative, and practical attitude toward local government affairs and a deep sense of social responsibility as a trusted public servant

Tenet 3

Be dedicated to the highest ideals of honor and integrity in all public and personal relationships in order that the member may merit the respect and confidence of the elected officials, of other officials and employees, and of the public.

Tenet 4

Recognize that the chief function of local government at all times is to serve the best interests of all people.

Tenet 5

Submit policy proposals to elected officials; provide them with facts and advice on matters of policy as a basis for making decisions and setting community goals; and uphold and implement local government policies adopted by elected officials.

Tenet 6

Recognize that elected representatives of the people are entitled to the credit for the establishment of local government policies; responsibility for policy execution rests with the members.

Tenet 7

Refrain from all political activities which undermine public confidence in professional administrators.  Refrain from participation in the election of the members of the employing legislative body.

Tenet 8

Make it a duty continually to improve the member's professional ability and to develop the competence of associates in the use of management techniques.

Tenet 9

Keep the community informed on local government affairs; encourage communication between the citizens and all local government officers; emphasize friendly and courteous service to the public; and seek to improve the quality and image of public service.

Tenet 10

Resist any encroachment on professional responsibilities, believing the member should be free to carry out official policies without interference, and handle each problem without discrimination on the basis of principle and justice.

Tenet 11

Handle all matters of personnel on the basis of merit so that fairness and impartiality govern a member's decisions, pertaining to appointments, pay adjustments, promotions, and discipline.

Tenet 12

Public office is a public trust. A member shall not leverage his or her position for personal gain or benefit.


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