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Homepage | City Council | Council Code of Conduct | Personal Code of Conduct
Personal Code of Conduct
Chapter 1 - Form of Government
Chapter 2 - Council Powers and Responsibilities
Chapter 3 - Legal and Ethical Standards
Chapter 4 - Communications
Chapter 5 - Boards Commissions Committees
Chapter 6 - Council Meetings
Chapter 7 - Council Financial Matters

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City Council Personal Code of Conduct

Adopted November 19, 2002; Revised July 6, 2004

The residents and businesses of Mountain View are entitled to have fair, ethical and accountable local government. Such a government requires that public officials:

  • Comply with both the letter and the spirit of the laws and policies affecting operations of the government.
  • Be independent, impartial and fair in their judgment and actions.
  • Use their public office for the public good, not for personal gain.
  • Conduct public deliberations and processes openly, unless legally confidential, in an atmosphere of respect and civility.

To this end, the Mountain View City Council has adopted this Code of Ethics to encourage public confidence in the integrity of local government and its fair and effective operation.

City Councilmembers shall sign this personal code of conduct at the first Council meeting in January each year when the Council elects the Mayor and Vice Mayor as a symbol of each Councilmember's continuing commitment to abide by the principles of this code.

1. Act in the Public Interest

Recognizing that stewardship of the public interest must be their primary concern, Councilmembers shall work for the common good of the people of Mountain View and not for any private or personal interest, and they will endeavor to treat all persons, claims and transactions in a fair and equitable manner.

2. Comply with the Law

Councilmembers shall comply with the laws of the nation, the State of California and the City in the performance of their public duties. These laws include, but are not limited to: the United States and California constitutions; the Mountain View City Charter; laws pertaining to conflicts of interest, election campaigns, financial disclosures, employer responsibilities and open processes of government; and City ordinances and policies.

3. Conduct of Members

Councilmembers shall refrain from abusive conduct, personal charges or verbal attacks upon the character or motives of other members of the City Council, boards, commissions, committees, staff or the public.

4. Respect for Process

Councilmember duties shall be performed in accordance with the processes and rules of order established by the City Council.

5. Conduct of Public Meetings

Councilmembers shall inform themselves of public issues, listen attentively to public discussions before the body and focus on the business at hand.

6. Decisions Based on Merit

Council decisions shall be based upon the merits and substance of the matter at hand.

7. Communication

It is the responsibility of Councilmembers to publicly share substantive information that is relevant to a matter under consideration that they have received from sources outside of the public decision-making process with all other Councilmembers.

8. Coordination with City Staff

Appropriate City staff should be involved when Councilmembers meet with officials from other agencies and jurisdictions to ensure proper staff support as needed and to keep staff informed.

9. Disclosure of Corruption

All City officials shall take an oath upon assuming office, pledging to uphold the constitution and laws of the City, the State and the Federal government. As part of this oath, officials commit to disclosing to the appropriate authorities and/or to the City Council any behavior or activity that may qualify as corruption, abuse, fraud, bribery or other violation of the law.

10. Conflict of Interest

In order to assure their independence and impartiality on behalf of the public good, Councilmembers shall not use their official positions to influence government decisions in which they have a financial interest or where they have an organizational responsibility or a personal relationship that would present a conflict of interest under applicable State law.

In accordance with the law, members shall file written disclosures of their economic interest and if they have a conflict of interest regarding a particular decision, refrain from participating in that decision unless otherwise permitted by law.

11. Gifts and Favors

Councilmembers shall not take advantage of services or opportunities for personal gain by virtue of their public office that are not available to the public in general. They shall refrain from accepting gifts, favors or promises of future benefits that might compromise their independence of judgment or action or give the appearance of being compromised.

12. Confidential Information

Councilmembers shall respect and preserve the confidentiality of information provided to them concerning the confidential matters of the City. They shall neither disclose confidential information without proper legal authorization nor use such information to advance their personal, financial or private interests.

13. Use of Public Resources

Public resources not available to the general public (e.g., City staff time, equipment, supplies or facilities) shall not be used by Councilmembers for private gain or personal purposes.

14. Representation of Private Interests

In keeping with their role as stewards of the public trust, Councilmembers shall not appear on behalf of the private interests of a third-party before the City Council or any board, commission or committee or proceeding of the City.

15. Advocacy

To the best of their ability, Councilmembers shall represent the official policies and positions of the City Council. When presenting their personal opinions or positions, members shall explicitly state that they do not represent the Council or the City.

16. Improper Influence

Councilmembers shall refrain from using their position to improperly influence the deliberations or decisions of City staff, boards, commissions or committees.

17. Policy Role of Members

Councilmembers shall respect and adhere to the Council-Manager structure of Mountain View City government as provided in State law and the City Charter.

18. Positive Work Environment

Councilmembers shall support the maintenance of a positive and constructive environment for residents, businesses and City employees.

19. Implementation

Ethics standards shall be included in the regular orientations for City Council candidates. Councilmembers entering office shall sign a statement affirming they read and understood the City of Mountain View's City Council Code of Ethics.

20. Compliance and Enforcement

Councilmembers themselves have the primary responsibility to assure that ethical standards are understood and met and that the public can continue to have full confidence in the integrity of City government.

This personal code of conduct shall be considered to be a summary of the longer City Council Code of Conduct document. The City Council Code of Conduct document shall be considered to be the definitive document relating to ethical conduct by Mountain View City Councilmembers.

I affirm that I have read and understand the City of Mountain View City Council Personal Code of Conduct.