Solaro introduces Code of Ethics
When he was elected to the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors last year, former South Lake Tahoe Police Chief Dave Solaro promised to bring in with him “a new atmosphere of respect and civility.”
So far, he has made good on his promise. Along with fellow incoming Supervisor Penny Humphreys, Solaro indeed has fostered a kinder, gentler approach to county government.
And now it’s official. Solaro presented his pet project before the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday – a county government code of ethics – and after some revision it passed by a 5-0 vote.
“I’m very proud of this, because the county has never been able to pass one of these before,” said Solaro, who represents District 5 – which includes South Lake Tahoe. “I think it’s something that’s very important for the credibility of the county.
“The new spirit of cooperation is something I campaigned on. I just felt that it was the right thing to do.”
The code of ethics was arrived at after input from the League of Women Voters and County Administrator Mike Hanford. It is recommended policy for all county employees, including elected officials.
In past years, the Board of Supervisors had been criticized for a divisive nature that sometimes turned board meetings into contentious shouting matches. Earlier attempts at ratifying some sort of ethics code always met with failure, usually due to disagreements on the wording of the document.
But in his presentation to the board on Tuesday, Solaro wore his heart on his sleeve, and persuaded the other members to sign off on his project.
The code of ethics was first presented to county officials at the County Goals Workshop on Monday, where it was slightly revised. The El Dorado County Employees Union gave its support at Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting.
Solaro, who is entering his fifth month as supervisor, says that his education in county government has come quickly.
“I’ve been surprised by the diversity of topics that a supervisor must deal with,” he said. “You see everything from asbestos to mine regulation. And each one of these issues represents very important tasks.”
The El Dorado County Government Code of Ethics:
1. In the performance of your governmental duties, be sensitive to circumstances that could be misconstrued as a special favor, something to be gained personally, acceptance of a favor or as an influence in the outcome of your duties.
2. Be cognizant that private promises of any kind may conflict with one’s public duty and responsibilities.
3. Always perform your governmental duties conscientiously.
4. Always act responsibly with confidential information received in the performance of your governmental duties.
5. Outside activities should be compatible with the objective performance of your duties or delivery of governmental service.
6. Treat all individuals encountered in the performance of your duties in a respectful, courteous and professional manner.
7. Promote only decisions that benefit the public interest.
8. Conduct and perform job duties diligently and promptly.
9. Faithfully comply with all laws and regulations applicable to the county and impartially apply them to everyone.
10. Promote the public interest through a responsive application of public duties.
11. Demonstrate the highest standards of personal integrity, truthfulness and honesty in all public activities.
12. Uphold these principles being ever conscious that public office is a public trust.
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