Special district boards attend mandated ethics training

M. Kate West
Staff Writer


To assist special district board members with meeting the California state biannual mandate for ethics training, the Plumas County Special Districts Association hosted a workshop Saturday, March 9, in the Quincy library conference room.

In attendance were a large number of board members, chief executive officers and general managers from recreation, water, fire and hospital districts across Plumas County.

Attorneys Andy Morris and Josh Nelson taught the three-hour certified course to an audience that very much appreciated the opportunity to freely ask questions about any process or procedure that created a level of uncertainty in meeting state standards.

The first instruction of the morning was dedicated to ethics training. The purpose of this training is to assist public agencies to comply with the law; learn best practices; promote positive public perceptions; and avoid legal problems.

While many of our neighbors often fill critical roles on local boards it takes this type of training to recognize the incredible responsibilities and liabilities those unpaid, elected officials accept.

When looking at a familiar face, it can be equally as hard to comprehend that the board member not only holds the power of government but that he or she must additionally be a good steward of tax dollars and the public’s trust.

Transparency laws pertaining to the California Public Records Act and the Ralph M. Brown Act were also covered extensively.

The workshop also offered instruction in the areas of the Political Reform Act of 1974; personal financial interests; public contracts; personal advantages and perks; gifts to agencies; loans, reimbursements and nepotism; misuse of public funds; fair political practices and campaign finances.

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