Cove City Councilor Jim Lundy said the new legislation functions as a formal reminder of public office's code of conduct.

"There's something we need to remember," he said. "Rules are made for people who break them ... These things, to me, are common-sense type things."

Most public officials, he explained, use sound ethical judgment when it comes to voting on issues they may have some personal or financial stake in -- if so, often choosing to abstain from the vote.

"It's up to us (as councilors) to be ethical and above reproach," Lundy said. "But because some aren't, they had to make these rules."

He added, "It's to remind people -- but (ideally) you shouldn't have to remind people to be ethical."

In addition to the March 25 information session, questions about the rules may be directed to OGEC at ogec.mail@state.or.us

The League of Oregon Cities has also addressed some of the more frequently asked questions in a document available at its website, www.orcities.org.

This story reprinted with the permission of The Observer.