Moffat County adopts ethics policy
December 31, 2015
The Moffat County Commissioners adopted an ethics policy at their meeting Tuesday morning to help ensure county officials and employees carry out their job responsibilities in an appropriate and legal manner.
The policy covers topics including receiving gifts, conflicts of interest, contracting and transacting business, handling confidential information, political solicitations and hiring of relatives.
"I thought it's been long over due getting an ethics policy," Commissioner Chuck Grobe said, according to the meeting minutes.
Moffat County Finance Director Mindy Curtis said the county is not required to have an ethics policy and most of what is in the newly approved policy is a reiteration of state laws. However, having an ethics policy may be important when seeking certain grants or funding streams.
"They ask about certain policies just to make sure you're operating in the best interests of the county," she said, noting that she got the idea of creating a policy while working on the Public Safety Center's refinancing.
"I thought, 'Well, that's a great policy to have in place because by statute we're required to follow these ethic rules anyway,'" she said. "It is more of a guidance to help the department heads and the employees."
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Commissioner Frank Moe said having a printed policy puts everyone on the same page and makes the public aware of what responsibilities the county has to its citizens.
"It's just making it official, out in the public and everyone aware," he said.
Moe is finishing his first year as a county commissioner and said he thinks having the guidelines in one place will help answer the questions that incoming elected officials or employees often find themselves with.
"This puts it right in paper, right in front of everybody," he said.
Grobe echoed Moe's sentiments.
"It gets it in writing so our employees can look at it either online or on a hardcopy so they know if there's a question," he said. "There's always questions."
The commissioners approved the policy with a 2-0 vote. Grobe and Moe voted in favor and Commissioner John Kinkaid was absent from the vote.