Code of Ethics


The citizens and businesses of Poway are entitled to responsible, fair and honest local government which has earned the public's full confidence for integrity. The proper operation of democratic government requires that decision-makers be independent, impartial, and accountable to those they serve.

Accordingly, the Poway City Council has adopted this Code of Ethics to:

  • Describe the standards of behavior to which its leaders aspire
  • Provide an ongoing source of guidance to city officials in their day-to-day service to the city
  • Promote and maintain a culture of ethics

This Code of Ethics builds upon the City of Poway's ideals, which include:

  • Open and honest communication at all times
  • Mutual respect
  • Honor of the public trust as stewards of the community

Elected officials, officers, employees, members of committees, and volunteers shall comply with the laws of the nation, the State of California and the City of Poway in the performance of their public duties. These laws include, but are not limited to: the United States and California constitutions; the Poway Municipal Code, laws pertaining to conflicts of interest, election campaigns, financial disclosures, employer responsibilities, and open processes of government; and city ordinances and policies.

The purpose of this Code of Ethics is to set a standard of conduct for all elected officials, officers, employees, members of committees and commissions, and volunteers for the City of Poway. The Code will be reviewed and evaluated periodically.

We Maintain Open & Honest Communication at All Times

  • I am honest and forthright with my fellow officials, the public and others, even when it is uncomfortable to do so
  • I encourage diverse public engagement in our decision-making processes and support the public's right to know

We Maintain Mutual Respect

  • I treat my fellow city officials, staff and the public with patience, courtesy and civility, even when we disagree on what is best for the community
  • I promote consistency, equity and non-discrimination in public agency decision-making

We Honor the Public Trust as Stewards of the Community

  • I am a steward of the public trust
  • I understand that the community expects me to serve with dignity and respect for my office, as well as to be an agent of the democratic process acting in the public interest
  • I avoid actions that might cause the public to question my independent judgment
  • I do not use my office or the resources of the city for personal or political gain
  • I am a prudent steward of public resources and actively consider the impact of my decisions on the financial and social stability of the city and its residents
  • I understand that as an elected official, or as a representative appointed by the City Council, I cannot act on behalf of, or commit the city to any action or policy that has not been authorized by the City Council
  • I am prepared to make decisions in the public's best interest based on the merits and substance of the matter at hand, and to take responsibility for my actions, whether those decisions are popular or not

We will hold ourselves as individuals and the City of Poway organization as a whole accountable for acting consistently with this Code of Ethics.

Ethics Training - AB 1234

Effective January 1, 2006, state law (AB 1234) requires (among other things) that local officials that receive compensation, salary, stipends, or expense reimbursements must receive training in public service ethics laws and principles every two years. The requirement applies not only to the governing body of a local agency, but also commissions, committees, boards, or other local agency bodies, whether permanent or temporary, decision-making or advisory.

To help local officials meet their ethics training requirements, the Institute for Local Government and the Fair Political Practices Commission have developed the ethics training course available on their website. The course has been approved by the Attorney General's Office and Fair Political Practices Commission.

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