“It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to
Ethics is what one ought to do–the kind of behaviors that would
make the world a better place, especially if everyone engaged in
The key question is: how does the conscientious public servant
sort through competing considerations and determine “the right
thing to do?” When it comes serving the public, how does one put
one’s values into practice?
In this video JoAnne Speers, Executive Director of the Institute
for Local Government, discusses ethics principles and ethics laws
and the difference between how local officials must act and how
they ought to act.
What is the difference between acting lawfully and acting
This distinction and the interaction of laws and ethics in public
service was the topic of discussion during a public sector
roundtable at the Santa Clara University Markkula Center for
Applied Ethics on August 9, 2013.