Ethics and leadership go hand in hand. Effective management is as a result of ethical demeanor as principled behavior is a result of real leadership. Leaders who pay little attention to ethics put their image and reputation at stake, and this affects their relationship with citizens negatively. Local governments need individuals with ethic to provide service to the public in an honest way. In this case, city council members represent the issues of the citizens’, but if the city manager tends to give all her attention to one council member, she comprises their relationship and creates a crisis in the service delivery.
Thus, the city council member who has an excellent relationship with the city manager finds himself in some ethical dilemmas. For instance, in the scenario where the city manager wants a strategy to move an initiative forward for a water purification program he approaches his favorite council member who he has a strong relationship with to take his agenda to a non-profit organization. Moreover, his friend proposes and urges donors to them to support the water purification program that aim to benefit the citizen. Thus, given that the manager holds the power to initiate program it is unethical for her to use proxies to achieve her mandate. In addition, her action defies the code of ethics since the city manager needs to sit with all the council members. Public works require consultation among stakeholders to avoid disagreement and cases of conflicts. In this situation, the manager is unfair to the council members and to the people for failing to involve all parties. Therefore, the city manager is unethical and worsens his reputation among the electorates. Furthermore, the city managers favorites’ council member endangers his position in the council. For example, in case the city managers downfall, he will face the same fate.
There is another example of an unethical decision. The manager’s friend thinks he is authorized and responsible for coordinating a sport’s team for a match. He thinks it is his obligation to report directly to the manager, rather than first conducting a democratic process with other council members to make an informed and right decision accepted by all before reporting to the city manager.
The city manager is normally hired to serve the city council. On the other hand, the council members are responsible for bringing benefits of delivering government’s programs and projects. Because council members largely depend on the complete information provided to them by experts, they take the best out of it that benefits the majority of the people. So, if the city manager has a specific council member who she largely depends on and it happens the council member makes indecisive decisions, the manager is bound by that decision if it happens to pass through the council members. Thus, an influence of one council member can impact government projects. Therefore, an official who is not knowledgeable can make a decision on behalves of all other stakeholders. Though, the manager makes recommendations to the council; the council has a choice of either adopting the recommendations or not. The ethical dilemma comes in if the loyal council member decides to go with the recommendations without the others’ consent. The cozy relationship leads to the poor decision-making process for lack of democracy.