Columbus is one of 24 Georgia cities to be recertified as a “City of Ethics” by the Georgia Municipal Association, according to a GMA release.
Two cities, Waverly Hall and Fort Oglethorpe, gained the certification for the first time this year. In all, more than 200 cities have gained the designation since it was created in 1999.
The certification was developed then by a group of business and government leaders to encourage cities to adopt and follow a set of ethical principles and to adopt local ethics ordinances.
The ordinance must contain definitions, prohibited conduct and due process for officials accused of violations in areas such as financial disclosures, conflicts of interests and outside employment. The ordinance must also contain penalties for city officials who violate the ordinance.
In recent years, GMA 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.