Stonecrest touts ‘City of Ethics’ recognition

The city of Stonecrest was recognized as a Certified City of Ethics by the Georgia Municipal Association (GMA) during the 2023 GMA Annual Convention in Savannah, according to a July 19 announcement from city officials.

GMA’s City of Ethics program was developed by a panel of business and government leaders in 1999. Certification “means the city has adopted and agreed to adhere to a set of key ethical principles and adopt a local ethics ordinance,” according to a news release.

To qualify to be a GMA City of Ethics, Stonecrest had to pass or amend ethics ordinances containing 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. Mayor Jazzmin Cobble said Stonecrest’s rewritten ethics ordinance contains all the necessary language.

GMA—a voluntary, nonprofit organization that provides legislative advocacy, educational, employee benefit and consulting services to all of Georgia’s 537 cities—also requires members with the designation to recertify for the program every four years. The process ensures “that ordinances maintain the standards of the program and officials are regularly reminded of their ethical obligations as individuals and as a governing body.”

“I’m very proud of the work we have done to rewrite the ethics ordinance and city code that reflects a process better suited to address ethics complaints for the City of Stonecrest,” stated Cobble. “In doing so, our city has met the standards set forth by the Georgia Municipal Association to achieve the designation of a City of Ethics, which all our community can be proud of.”

The news release states that a panel of attorneys reviewed Stonecrest’s ordinances to determine whether they comply with the criteria set by GMA, and Stonecrest was recognized as a GMA Certified City of Ethics on June 26 and received an honorary plaque.

The city is now authorized by GMA to use a “Certified City and Organization of Ethics” logo on stationery, road signs, vehicles, websites and for other uses.

In addition to the city recognition, Stonecrest officials announced that Councilwoman Tammy Grimes received the Certificate of Achievement from the Harold F. Holtz Municipal Training Institute. The institute provides a nationally recognized series of training opportunities for city officials, which city officials said Grimes completed.

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