Code of Ethics

State of New Hampshire
City and Town Clerks

While roles and responsibilities may vary from city to city and town to town, the MUNICIPAL CLERK’S commitment to their profession remains steadfast, providing the highest level of service to all customers. It is hoped that clerks develop, maintain, and refine the knowledge base required to serve their customer. The clerks around the state should participate in educational programs specifically designed for their profession. Upholding honest principles, ever conscious that public office is a public trust. Clerks should possess high, consistent standards of conduct; fairness; respect, responsibility; trust, and above all confidentiality. Remember, that a code of ethics will not solve all ethical problems:

“But, we must remember that good laws, if they are not obeyed, do not constitute good government. Hence there are two parts of good government; one is the actual obedience of citizens to the laws the other part is the goodness of the laws why they obey.” (Aristotle, Politics 1292a3-6)

CLERKS, when elected or appointed, must be truthful and trustworthy in their positions at all times.

CLERKS must take full responsibility for their actions, relating to service, productivity and accountability.

CLERKS should be sensitive toward others and respect their viewpoints

CLERKS must have patience, understanding and compassion

CLERKS should attempt to resolve problems without creating new ones

CLERKS should make honest decisions at all times

CLERKS should, at all times, work toward the maintenance and promotion of high standards of practice in their profession

CLERKS should uphold and advance the values, ethics, knowledge, and mission of their profession

CLERKS should not participate in, condone, or be associated with dishonesty, fraud, or deception

CLERKS should strive to become and remain proficient in their professional practice and the performance of professional functions.

CLERKS should keep current with emerging knowledge relevant to the duties of their office.

CLERKS should routinely review the state statutes, legislative updates and any other information relevant to their elected and/or appointed position

CLERKS, who speak on behalf of the New Hampshire City & Town Clerks’
Association, should accurately represent the Association, only if the Executive Board or
the membership of the Association has voted in the majority to support or oppose an issue.  Otherwise, clerks should speak on their own interests or that of the town or city they represent.

CLERKS should not permit their private conduct to interfere with their ability to fulfill their professional responsibilities to either their town or to the association.

CLERKS should record all documents/records that are required by state statutes and maintain such documents/records for the number of years required by state statutes or relevant contracts respecting and protecting the confidentiality of all records under their jurisdiction

CLERKS should not enter into a dispute between municipalities and another clerk, unless they do so on their own and not as a member of the New Hampshire City & Town Clerks’ Association

CLERKS must be familiar with the right-to-know laws of the State of New Hampshire

Town and city clerks are elected and/or appointed by the citizens who have the utmost trust and faith in the clerk’s ability to fairly and honestly serve their community. Let us all live up to that trust with honor and dignity.