Image of contributors

Rod Gould, ICMA-CM (retired)

ICMA member since 1985

“ICMA’s Code of Ethics is our North Star in guiding city and county professionals in how we are to build community and serve the public interest. Because what is ethically correct can be subjective and gray at times, ICMA spells out the ethical guidelines and interpretations as carefully as possible given the wide range of situations managers and assistants face. Further, those guidelines are regularly updated to reflect changing times and circumstances. Lastly, the Code of Ethics is fairly and openly enforced to have consequences. It sets our profession apart from many others and is both a source of pride and strength.”

Jane Brautigam

ICMA member since 2001

“In a world where public trust in government leaders has often faltered, ICMA members stand out as public servants whose focus is on the needs of people without regard to status or station. The core values of democracy, equity, and fairness embodied in the Code of Ethics ground our work and focus our efforts on service. They serve as a touchstone and an assurance that local government leaders will deliver with respect and with the best interests of the community in mind. They remind each of us that the work we do is honorable even in the most difficult of times, and that we are part of a larger cohort of colleagues dedicated to excellence and to public service.”

Daryl Delabbio, PhD, ICMA-CM (retired)

ICMA member since 1977

“Public trust is a tremendous responsibility that every local government leader must embrace and strive to enhance. The ICMA Code of Ethics is essential in earning and maintaining that trust. Throughout my career I had a framed copy of the Code in a visible place in my office for me to refer to often. Some may view a professional code of ethics as restrictive. I view the ICMA Code of Ethics and its accompanying guidelines as empowering. It empowers us as leaders to always serve the best interests of the public in an ethical manner.”

Lon Pluckhahn, ICMA-CM

ICMA member since 2006

“The Code of Ethics is the bright line separating administration from politics. It is our statement of our guiding principles that help us to ensure that the public good always takes priority over personal ambitions, and a demonstration of our commitment to the public to government that works on their behalf. The Code unites all our members, regardless of our individual differences. Remember that the Code cannot be written to address every specific situation that will come up, so if you have a doubt, ask!”

Contact Us

ICMA encourages individuals seeking confidential advice on issues of ethics to contact Martha Perego, director of Member Services and Ethics, at or 202-962-3668; or Jessica Cowles, ethics advisor, at or 202-962-3513.

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!