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Johns Creek earns 'City of Ethics' honors

Voluntary GMA program recognizes commitment to standards
1/27/2010

Certified City of EthicsJohns Creek was among four Georgia cities to receive the "Certified City of Ethics" designation at the Georgia Municipal Association's Mayor's Day Conference Jan. 24.

The voluntary program, developed by a panel of business and government leaders, encourages cities to adopt and adhere to a set of key ethical principles and a comprehensive model ethics ordinance. The ordinance guides city officials' conduct in areas such as financial disclosures, conflicts of interests and outside employment. The ordinance also contains strong penalty provisions – including public reprimands, fines and removal from office – for city officials who violate the ordinance.

City of Ethics award presented to Johns Creek Mayor Mike Bodker GMA President and Decatur Mayor Bill Floyd, Johns Creek Mayor Mike Bodker, Johns Creek Council Member Liz Hausmann, and GMA Second Vice President and Metter Mayor Billy Trapnell.

"Johns Creek is honored and excited to have earned the 'Certified City of Ethics' designation from the Georgia Municipal Association," said Mayor Mike Bodker. "This is another recognition that the city is holding true to its founding principles of responsiveness, transparency and fiscal responsibility while putting service to our citizens and businesses above all."

This year, Paulding became the first county in the state to join the 211 cities that have earned the designation.

GMA also this year began requiring cities with the designation to recertify for the program, ensuring that ordinances maintain the standards of the program and city officials are regularly reminded of their ethical obligations as individuals and as a governing body. Each city will be required to apply for recertification every four years. Ten cities qualified for recertification.

"There is a much stronger focus on ethics right now, and we're pleased that cities have led the way on this important issue," said GMA Executive Director Jim Higdon. "We're also glad that Paulding County's officials have chosen to take this step in earning and maintaining the public's trust in government."

A panel of attorneys reviewed the ordinances to determine if they comply with the GMA criteria. The cities received a plaque and are now authorized by GMA to use a "Certified City of Ethics" logo on city stationery, road signs, city vehicles and for other uses.