Don’t Forget to Cast Your Ballot by June 5 for ICMA’s 2020 Election!

Vote on the ballot for Regional Vice Presidents and proposed revisions to Tenets 5 and 6 of the ICMA Code of Ethics

May 5, 2020 | ARTICLE

On May 5, the ballot opened for ICMA's 2020 election of regional vice presidents to serve on the ICMA Executive Board.  The ballot also includes proposed revisions to Tenets 5 and 6 of the ICMA Code of Ethics for membership approval.  Please take the time to vote by June 5, 2020.

Eligibility and Access to Voting

The link to the election ballot has been emailed to Corporate members eligible to vote in ICMA elections, including members who are now eligible to vote as a result of the constitutional amendments approved in February 2020. The email comes from ICMA's online voting vendor, Association Voting (, so be sure to check your spam filter.

Members who have not provided an email address will receive a ballot by mail the week of May 5. 

ICMA Executive Board Regional Vice President Nomination Process

The 2020 ICMA Regional Nominating Committees’ proposed slate of nominees (6) to serve as regional vice presidents is found on the online ballot. Biographies of each candidate are provided, including present employment, educational background, credentialed status, previous employment, volunteer service to the profession, and offices held in ICMA and state/affiliate associations.

The Regional Nominating Committees considered the following criteria in the selection of the proposed candidates: experience in local government; service to ICMA and its affiliates; diversity in the nominees and the continuing board members with whom they will serve in terms of race, ethnicity, gender, and age; demonstration of ethical behavior; commitment to follow the election guidelines; quality or caliber for board service; and participation in ICMA’s Voluntary Credentialing Program, if eligible.

Proposed Revisions to Tenets 5 and 6 of the ICMA Code of Ethics

Ethics are the core of building and maintaining public trust in the local government management profession and with the communities in which members serve. ICMA’s Code of Ethics was adopted in 1924 and guidelines to it were added in 1972 to help members meet their ethical obligations.

In 2013, the ICMA Executive Board began a structured effort with the Committee on Professional Conduct (CPC) to review each tenet with the membership. To date, Tenets 1, 2, 3, 4, 7, and 12 have been revised. Amendments to the tenets require membership approval while changes to the guidelines require Executive Board approval.  

Tenets 5 and 6 Review Process

The CPC selected Tenets 5 and 6 to review at the same time in October 2018 because they both address aspects of the policy recommendation and decision-making process and focus on a member’s role in implementing a governing body’s decisions. The language of Tenets 5 and 6 has not been substantively revised since 1972.

In early 2019, the CPC facilitated conversations with members during regional conferences and state association meetings to gain feedback on the tenets then invited all members to share their thoughts on proposed revisions to the language through an electronic survey. The majority of members responding to the survey overwhelmingly supported the CPC’s proposed changes to Tenets 5 and 6. 

The revision to Tenet 5 proposed for membership approval includes the addition of providing “technical and professional advice about policy options” to elected officials and updates the language to highlight the member’s role in collaborating with elected officials to set goals for the community and organization. The proposed language assigns the idea of implementing elected officials’ decisions to remain exclusively in Tenet 6 rather than be duplicated in both Tenets 5 and 6, as is written currently.

The proposed revisions to Tenet 6 for membership approval are intended to better reflect that decisions elected officials make are not limited only to policy adoption; elected officials are accountable to the people for those decisions, and members remain responsible for implementing those decisions.

The ICMA Constitution requires a majority of Corporate members casting a vote to approve any changes to the Code. In February 2020, the ICMA Executive Board approved placing the proposed new language for Tenets 5 and 6 on the ballot for member consideration. The next step in the review process is to seek the approval of ICMA Corporate members on the May 2020 ballot.

Questions or Technical Support

If you have any questions about the proposed changes to Tenets 5 and 6, contact Martha Perego, director of Member Services and Ethics at 202-962-3668 or; or Jessica Cowles, ethics advisor at 202-962-3513 or

If you believe that you are eligible to vote but have not received a ballot from Association Voting or by mail, contact