Kirkland Code of Ethics and Conduct 18 months in the making

In response to several requests about the status of the City of Kirkland's proposed Code of Ethics, we would like to present the following status update:

In March 2010, the Kirkland City Council created a citizen task force to help it develop a Code of Ethics. Task force members were volunteers appointed by the City Council to serve for a period of approximately six months. It is now eighteen months later and the Council seems prepared to adopt a Code of Conduct. A revised draft of the Code of Ethics will be presented to council in October or November.

The Code of Conduct reads in part:

As a City Official of the City of Kirkland, I agree to these principles of conduct:

  • We consistently demonstrate the principles of professionalism, respect and civility in working for the greater good of Kirkland.
  • We assure fair and equal treatment of all people.
  • We conduct ourselves both personally and professionally in a manner that is above reproach.
  • We refrain from abusive conduct, personal charges or verbal attacks on the character or motives of Council members, commissioners, staff and the public.
  • We take care to avoid personal comments that could offend others. We show no tolerance for intimidating behaviors.
  • We listen courteously and attentively to all public discussions and treat all people the way we wish to be treated.
  • We serve as a model of leadership and civility to the community. Our actions inspire public confidence in Kirkland government.

According to the City's website, the Ethics Task Force consists of the following members:

  • Toby Nixon, Chair. Mr. Nixon is employed at Microsoft, the current president of the Washington Coalition for Open Government and a former State Representative.
  • Mary-Alyce Burleigh. Ms. Burleigh is a former Kirkland City Council Member and retired educator.
  • Carolyn Hayek. Ms. Hayek is currently a self-employed wedding officiant, a former Kirkland Planning Commissioner, and former district court judge.
  • Kathy Gilles. Ms. Gilles is employed by Evergreen Hospital and serves on Evergreen’s Ethics Committee.
  • Sharon Sherrard. Ms. Sherrard is the Chair of the Kirkland Interfaith Network and a retired educator.

The Kirkland Ethics Task Force most recently presented its DRAFT Code of Ethics to the City Council on July 19, 2011. Once developed and approved, the Code of Ethics will apply to Kirkland elected and appointed officials.


The citizens and businesses of Kirkland are entitled to have fair, ethical and accountable local government which has earned the public’s full confidence for integrity. In keeping with the City of Kirkland commitment to excellence, the effective functioning of democratic government therefore requires that:

  • public officials, both elected and appointed, comply with both the letter and spirit of the laws and policies affecting the operations of government;
  • public officials be independent, impartial and fair in their judgment and actions;
  • public office be used for the public good, not for personal gain; and
  • public deliberations and processes be conducted openly, unless legally confidential, in an atmosphere of respect and civility.

City of Kirkland DRAFT Code of Ethics


In February 2010, the City Council initiated the process of developing a code of ethics for the City Council and boards and commissions. The City Council created a Council Subcommittee for the Development of an Ethics Policy composed of Mayor Joan McBride, Council Member Dave Asher, and Council Member Doreen Marchione. The Council Subcommittee met and proposed a process and timeline for developing a community-based ethics code which were accepted by the City Council. The Council Subcommittee then solicited applicants for an Ethics Task Force, screened applications, and provided its recommendation for the Task Force Members to the City Council. In April 2010, the Council appointed Mary-Alice Burleigh, Kathy Gilles, Carolyn Hayek, Toby Nixon, and Sharon Sherrard to the Ethic Task Force. The Council also identified topics it would like to see included in a code of ethics.

The Ethics Task Force began its process of developing a code of ethics in April 2010.

[box type="download" style="rounded" border="full"]Download the DRAFT Code of Ethics[/box]