Finance Committee Code of Conduct

1. Finance Committee members shall:

(a) Realize their basic function is to analyze the probity, necessity, and affordability of the warrant articles and make recommendations to Town Meeting that are in the best interest of the Town.

(b) Understand a Committee decision is reached after thorough, fair, and thoughtful deliberations.

(c) Understand Committee powers and duties contained in the Falmouth Home Rule Charter provides that the Committee may consult with any and all officers, boards, and committees of the Town with reference to matters under its supervision.

(d) Be informed that the Committee is required to consider the various articles calling for expenditure or appropriation of funds and may consider any other articles in the warrant and make a report of its doings and recommendations to the Town Meeting.

(e) Realize decisions on the articles reflect the Committee’s best judgement on information provided on issues and finances of the Town.

(f) Understand the Committee represents the Town Meeting, specifically, and the entire community, generally, at all times.

(g) Serve unselfishly, and not to benefit personally or politically from Committee activities and actions.

(h) Abide by the ethic guidelines established by the State and not use the position of Committee member to obtain inside information on matters that may benefit someone personally.

(i) Not allow personal friendships, enmities, biases, preconceptions, or partisan affiliations to interfere with the fair, and impartial performance of their duties.

(j) Avoid not only actual conflicts of interest, but even the perception or appearance of bias or favoritism when acting in an official capacity.

2. In regard to Committee actions and activities Members shall:

(a) Work together and speak as one voice whenever possible.

(b) Recognize that action at official public meetings is binding and that Members cannot bind the Committee outside of such meetings.

(c) Not make any statements or promises outside of a Finance Committee public meeting, of how they will vote on matters that will come or expect to come before the Committee.

(d) Uphold the legal intent of executive session and respect privileged communications that exist in executive session.

(e) Refrain from communicating the position of the Committee to anyone outside of the Committee unless the full Committee has formally agreed on both the position and the language of the statement conveying the position.

(f) Treat all Members with respect despite differences of opinion.

(g) Not be an employee of the Town or hold any other elected or appointed town office, except the office of town meeting member.

(h) Not act in a manner that gives the appearance that the Member is actively working on behalf of any Town office, board, or committee.

3. The Committee Chair shall:

(a) Ensure compliance by all Members with the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Open Meeting Law and Massachusetts Conflict of Interest Law.

(b) Conduct public meetings in accordance with the rules and policies set by law and by the Committee.

(c) Understand that the Chair serves at the pleasure of the Committee to conduct Committee business in a fair and unbaised manner.

(d) Realize that the Chair is an equal member of the Committee with no special authority or privilege.

4. Member Compliance with the Code of Conduct:

(a) Failure to adhere to this code will be considered by the appointing authority when making re-appointment decisions and may be grounds for censure by the Committee or by the appointing authority.