The City of Summerville recently was designated as a City of Ethics by the Georgia Municipal Association. The designation is an attempt to raise awareness about ethics issues at the local level and provide a local forum for the airing and resolution of legitimate concerns. The use of a local ethics ordinance allows citizens to raise their concerns and participate in the ethics investigation process at the local level, where the voice and influence of the individual citizen is strongest. The Summerville City Council adopted an ordinance that met the GMA requirements and the ordinance was approved by GMA’s Ethics Committee.
Councilman Joe Money spearheaded the endeavor, “the pledge has 5 basic principles: to serve others not ourselves, to use resources with efficiency, to treat all people fairly, to use the power of our position for the constituents well being and to create an honest and open environment.”
Councilman Money said he wanted designation of Summerville being a City of Ethics because of one main issue, “Trust. Its important that our citizens know that we are working for them and have their best interest in mind. Citizens want their elected officials to be honest and transparent. Citizens can hold us to this now, especially since we have declared this resolution. The entire Council was eager to get this distinction and worked to make it happen.”