One who intends to leave others better off for his having existed.

4/13/13

Updated; Ethical Responsibilities of the Governing Body of the City of Greensboro

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The Policy says City Council Members be honest, impartial, fair and responsible.

Should council members who own residential or commercial properties vote on agenda items regulating residential or commercial properties?

Was Mayor Perkins honest when he ran while not disclosing he owed back taxes in 2011?

Was City Council honest when they voted to use the water and sewer trust fund for water and sewer for AMEX and Roy Carroll's Birch Creek?

Was City Council impartial during the GPAC push?

Was Nancy Hoffman honest and impartial when she voted to give DGI money while in negotiations with DGI for a lease at her newly acquired downtown property on Elm Street?

Was Mayor Perkins honest and impartial when he voted to give money for an Ice Rink across the street from his condo?

Was city council honest and impartial when they voted to fund and allow the fire union, a group tied to a PAC who makes city council endorsements, to deduct dues from city paychecks?
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Does "shall withdraw from any consideration" mean the council has to vote on weather or not there is a conflict, as opposed to the city attorney?

Is the only way to vote or withdraw in consideration of a conflict of interest, considering 160A-75 below, a council vote?
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"Any officer, department head or employee who has financial interest, direct or indirect, in any proposed contract with the city or in a proposed sale of any land, material, supplies, or services to the city or to a contractor supplying the city, shall make known that interest and shall refrain from voting upon or otherwise participating in the making of such contract or sale.

Any officer, department head, or employee who willfully conceals such a financial interest or willfully violates the requirements of this Section shall be guilty of malfeasance in office or position and shall forfeit his office or position.

Violation of this Section with the knowledge expressed or implied of the person or corporation contracting with or making a sale to the city shall render the contract void."

Sec. 4.131. - Conflict of interest: Greensboro Code of Ordinances, City Charter
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What does "indirect" financial interest mean?

Where are the disclosures on the "nature and extent of such interests"?

Has the city attorney informed new members of their ethical responsibilities of this policy?

How did the city attorney define "indirect" financial interest to council members?
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"Financial Interest

A person has a Financial Interest if the individual has, directly or indirectly, any actual or potential ownership, investment, or compensation arrangement with [The City of Greensboro] or with any entity that conducts transactions with [The City of Greensboro].

A Financial Interest is not necessarily a conflict of interest in all cases. Under Article III, Section 2 of IRS Form 1023, a person with a Financial Interest may have a conflict of interest only if the appropriate governing board or committee decides that a conflict of interest exists.

The Vangaurd Group
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Is City Council supposed to vote on whether or not a member has a conflict of interest?
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"Financial Interest

A person has a financial interest if the person has, directly or indirectly, through business, investment, or family:

a. An ownership or investment interest in any entity with which [The City of Greensboro] has a transaction or arrangement,

b. A compensation arrangement with any entity or individual with which [The City of Greensboro] has a transaction or arrangement, or

c. A proposal ownership or investment interest in, or compensation arrangement with, any entity or individual with which [The City of Greensboro] is negotiating a transaction or arrangement.

Compensation includes direct and indirect remuneration as well as gifts or favors that are not insubstantial.

A financial interest is not necessarily a conflict of interest.

A person who has a financial interest may have a conflict of interest only if the Council decides that a conflict of interest exists.

Procedures

a. In connection with any actual or possible conflict of interest, an interested person must disclose the existence of the financial interest and be given the opportunity to disclose all material facts to the Council members and members of committees with governing board delegated powers considering the proposed transaction or arrangement.

b. The remaining Council members shall decide if a conflict of interest exists.

c. After disclosure of the financial interest and all material facts, and after any discussion with the
interested person, he/she shall leave the Council meeting while the determination of a conflict of interest is discussed and voted upon."

ISSX Council
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No member shall be excused from voting except upon matters involving the consideration of the member's own financial interest or official conduct or on matters on which the member is prohibited from voting...

In all other cases, a failure to vote by a member who is physically present in the council chamber, or who has withdrawn without being excused by a majority vote of the remaining members present, shall be recorded as an affirmative vote...

§ 160A‑75.  Voting.
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Is Greensboro's City Council, not the city manager or city attorney, responsible for deciding whether or not a city council member has a excusable conflict?

Is Greensboro's City Council the only entity that can excuse or allow a vote when there may or may not be a conflict of interest?

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