Conflict of Interest Provisions

Recognizing that public officials must make difficult choices, the Council has adopted an ethical code of conduct.

Political Reform Act

There are numerous sources of conflict of interest that may require a Council member, commissioner, committee member or designated employee to disqualify themselves from participating in a decision. The Political Reform Act (PRA) controls financial conflicts of interest of public officials.

The PRA is implemented and enforced by the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC), which has issued comprehensive regulations. For a public official to understand the PRA's impact on his/her actions, it is suggested that public officials discuss the law and any potential conflicts with the City Attorney or a private attorney.

In general, public officials are prohibited from making, participating in, or in any way attempting to use their official position to influence a governmental decision in which they know or have reason to know they have a financial interest (Government Code § 87100; 2 California Code of Regulations § 18700, 18702-18702.4). A "public official" is defined as including every member, officer, employee or consultant of the state or local government agency (Government Code § 83048; 2 California Code of Regulations § 18700).

Conflict of Interests Code

The City is required to adopt and maintain a Conflict of Interest Code. This Code is found in the Arcata Municipal Code at Title II, Chapter 8. Under state law, the code must be reviewed every 2 years and amended as circumstances change. The City's code must be consistent with the minimum requirements of the Political Reform Act (Government Code sections 87300-87314)

Statement of Economic Interests (Form 700)

The Political Reform Act of 1974 provides that certain municipal officials must disclose their economic interests periodically on statements provided by the State Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC Form 700). The City Clerk is responsible for retaining these statements and making them available to the public on request.

Obtaining Copies

Copies may be obtained at a cost of 10 cents per page from the City Clerk's Office or from the Fair Political Practices Commission.

Additionally, Statements of Economic Interests for some state and local government agency elected officers may be available in electronic form on the Fair Political Practices Commission's website.

The following designated employees and appointed commission / committee members file an annual Statement of Economic Interests (California Fair Political Practices Commission Form 700) with the City Clerk. The City Clerk retains the Statements of Economic Interests. Copies are available at a cost of 10 cents per page from the City Clerk's Office. Groups and individuals that submit the Form 700 are:

  • City Council
  • City Manager
  • Finance Director
  • City Attorney 
  • Planning Commissioners
  • Economic Development Committee
  • Designated Employees
    • City Engineer
    • Director of Community Development
    • Director of Environmental Services
    • Deputy Director of Environmental Services - Community Services
    • Deputy Director of Environmental Services - Streets/Utilities
    • Deputy Director of Information Technology
    • Police Chief
    • Assistant City Manager/Personnel Director
    • Assistant City Engineer
    • Building Official