Ethics code is a good first step

Published 4:24 pm Tuesday, August 9, 2016

A s Farmville’s (and the surrounding area’s) newspaper of record, we are always glad to see a public body take its job seriously. Many times when we note such things, we are speaking of a council or board’s willingness to follow the rules on open records and freedom of information.

This time, we are talking about ethics — specifically, each Farmville Town Council member’s signing of an ethics pledge and, as a whole, reinstituting an ethics committee.

By doing so, council is adopting a code of ethics, which, as we reported Friday, includes, but is not limited to, things like being diligent, transparent and not acting on matters where a conflict of interest exists; and having council members “protect and preserve the integrity of town government by putting the public interest first.”

To be fair, we are already receiving some letters to the editor wondering if this is too little too late (see elsewhere on this page). Some of the town government’s recent actions, as well as by other public bodies in our area, have upset some people.

But we believe this is a good first step. By taking this pledge — and meaning it — Farmville Town Council is on its way to (depending on one’s point of view) either solidifying the public trust or regaining it.

Either way, we applaud the effort and promise to keep watch to see if council members keep their pledge.