Upshur County commissioners should be commended for their recent unanimous passage of a resolution to establish an ethics policy for the goings on in their office.
Following West Virginia ethics laws, the commissioners have taken a step forward to ensure business dealings they are involved with are above board and without conflicts of interest.
The policy, which applies only to the commission office and not to other elected officials' offices, states commissioners must be "independent" and "impartial" in their daily dealings in office. It prohibits the solicitation and accepting of gifts that come with the promise of future employment, favors or services that could be influenced by a commissioner.
While these issues are definite conflicts of interest for which elected officials could possibly benefit, the Upshur Commission has taken a proactive stance to show it does not believe in impunity from actions that might compromise its office and employees.
Commissioners Donnie Tenney, J.C Raffety and Creed Pletcher should be applauded for having the moral fortitude to stand up and say to the residents of Upshur County and the rest of the state they will not allow their office to be stained by actions made for personal gain, political favors, personal financial gains or other actions that could be deemed unethical.
This policy should be adopted by elected officials serving in all levels of government from the municipal level all the way to the federal level.
By approving this resolution, the Upshur County Commission has made it known it expects to be held to a higher standard. They are leaders and role models for everyone in the community seeking to distance themselves from backroom deals and from those who may operate for personal gain in a position of power.
This decision should be a great example for our young people to see as a lasting lesson on making not only their own lives better, but also the community through standing up and saying that being held to a higher standard is not just a good way to do business. It's a good way to live, work and raise a family.