Letter to the Editor: The Code of Ethics
Eve Parsons of Troy submitted this letter to the editor in an effort to clarify the contents of the Troy City Council's Code of Ethics and "to keep the dialogue going on what is a very important issue.'
By Eve Parsons
I'm aware of the Troy City Council's Code of Ethics which took over 2 1/2 years(!) of discussion to formulate and was finally signed and adopted by the previous mayor and City Council on Oct. 18, 2010.
This document (attached here in PDF) addresses items such as meeting attendance, being informed on issues and respecting confidentiality of information.
However, respect for all people and refraining from hate speech are not included. Therefore, it appears that the document is incomplete and City Council needs to bring it up to a standard which will more accurately reflect the values the Troy Community holds dear. Only then, can this piece of paper be called a "Code of Ethics."
Since lately much has been said about words in the dictionary, the following is a definition of ethics:
- ( used with a singular or plural verb ) a system of moral principles: the ethics of a culture.
- the rules of conduct recognized in respect to a particular class of human actions or a particular group, culture, etc.: medical ethics; Christian ethics.
- moral principles, as of an individual: His ethics forbade betrayal of a confidence.
- ( usually used with a singular verb ) that branch of philosophy dealing with values relating to human conduct, with respect to the rightness and wrongness of certain actions and to the goodness and badness of the motives and ends of such actions.
Furthermore, not only does the document lack key principles, but apparently it is not of any particular importance to the public officials recently elected since neither the new Mayor, nor any of the new City Council members have signed it.
Documents such as a Code of Ethics, a Code of Conduct, an HR Policy - call them what you will - normally are an integral part of the hiring process and are customarily signed on Day 1 of a job... like right after being sworn in?
As the current Code of Ethics doesn't address hate speech, I posed the initial question to find out if perhaps the issue is covered in another document such as City of Troy Code of Conduct and if so, does the City of Troy's Code of Conduct apply to the Mayor & Council or do they abide by a totally separate set of rules?
Finally, is it too much for citizens to expect that any candidate for office in the great city of Troy has the ability to meet basic standards of behavior such not using hate speech?