Close-up photo of pencil checking box on Voting ballot paper

On April 7, 2023, ICMA canvassed 2,544 ballots cast (2,533 online and 11 by mail) by ICMA Corporate members who are eligible to vote based on the criteria outlined in ICMA’s Constitution. Through this special election ballot open March 1-31,2023, Corporate members approved the proposed changes to Tenets 1, 4, 9, and 11 of the ICMA Code of Ethics. Notably, this special election holds the distinction of having the highest participation rate in ICMA’s online voting history (31.62%).

Revisions to tenets of the ICMA Code of Ethics require the approval of a majority of Corporate members voting. The ICMA Executive Board has the authority to revise the guidelines and will review the Committee on Professional Conduct’s recommended changes to the associated guidelines at its June 2023 board meeting.

Per ICMA’s Constitution, three Corporate members served on the Canvassing Committee to witness the vote tally and certify the election results: Ann Marie Townshend, city manager, Lewes, Delaware; Martha Paige, town manager, Morrisville, North Carolina; and Matt Mueller, town manager, Little Elm, Texas.

The newly accepted revisions to Tenets 1, 4, 9, and 11 approved by the membership are effective April 7, 2023:

Tenet 1. We believe professional management is essential to effective, efficient, equitable, and democratic local government.

APPROVE  2,192  (86.19%)

Reject  351

Total  2,543

Abstain  1


Tenet 4. Serve the best interests of all community members. 

APPROVE  2,168  (85.39%)

Reject  371

Total  2,539

Abstain  5


Tenet 9. Keep the community informed on local government affairs. Encourage and facilitate active engagement and constructive communication between community members and all local government officials.

APPROVE  2,147  (84.49%)

Reject  394

Total  2,541

Abstain  3


Tenet 11. Manage all personnel matters with fairness and impartiality.

APPROVE  2,193  (86.27%)

Reject  349

Total  2,542

Abstain  2


Read the article providing more details on the changes to Tenets 1, 4, 9, and 11 approved by the membership and the CPC’s recommendations on changes to the associated guidelines.

Read the Summary 

View the newly revised, frameable version of the ICMA Code of Ethics (tenets only).

Code of Ethics (suitable for framing)


Members with questions about the changes to Tenets 1, 4, 9, and 11 can contact Jessica Cowles, ethics advisor at 202-962-3513 and; or Martha Perego, managing director of member services and ethics at 202-962-3668 and

New, Reduced Membership Dues

A new, reduced dues rate is available for CAOs/ACAOs, along with additional discounts for those in smaller communities, has been implemented. Learn more and be sure to join or renew today!