The Shelby Township Board of Trustees has adopted a new ethics policy designed to hold elected public officials to high ethical standards of conduct.
The board approved the five-page ethics policy by a 6-1 vote during the Nov. 8 trustees meeting.
“This will further add to the transparency that we already have in place,” said Shelby Township Supervisor Rick Stathakis.
The ethics policy states that all Board members must “remain above suspicion” at all times and earn the public’s trust.
General standards of conduct include:
- Comply with all laws and policies of township 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 business openly, as provided by law, in an atmosphere of respect and civility;
- Cooperate fully with any request of the township Human Resources director for information or assistance subject to law.
The policy further defines the importance of confidentiality, conflict of interests and the township’s strict policy against accepting gifts.
Shelby Township Attorney Rob Huth said the resolution is hard to enforce because any state laws governing public officials conduct would supersede the local resolution.
"I think it would be very difficult to present something to govern (the Board of Trustees) that would have an enforcement provision in it and be seen as something different than what the state law already provides but still be enforceable," he said at the meeting.
Although Trustee Lisa Manzella voted in favor of the ethics policy, before voting she said the document is lacking teeth.
“It’s a start but there is no enforcement… Without enforcement it’s really kind of pointless,” she said.
Trustee Michael Flynn was the lone dissenting vote.