AUGUSTA — A proposal to adopt a set of core values for city councilors to follow should not suggest councilors are not living up to those standards now, the proposal’s sponsor said.

Quite the opposite, actually, Ward 4 Councilor Eric Lind said.

He said the current council is made up of people with high ethical standards and values and hopes the proposed core values will capture that and increase the chances those core values will survive to guide future councilors. “There is a really good group of people on the council right now. I just want to capture the tone now, get it down in writing and have it published,” Lind said. “Who knows what the future may hold? This could be a set of values we could rely on if we ever have issues.”

Core values being proposed include avoiding conflicts of interest, acting with integrity, exercising self-control and addressing citizens, city employees, committee members and fellow councilors with equal respect. The City Council is scheduled to discuss the proposal at its meeting Thursday.

Lind, a brigadier general with the Maine Air National Guard, said guard members follow a set of core values, and some other city councils do as well. He thought it could benefit the city to establish a similar set of core values councilors would be expected to reflect.

“There are no issues. Nothing caused me to say, ‘We’ve got to do this,'” Lind said. “I’m not out to change anything. I’m trying to prevent any unforeseen issues in the future that may arrive.”

He’s not sure what, if any, the consequences would be for a councilor who fails to live up to the core values.

A draft of the proposed core values, written by Lind and edited by City Manager William Bridgeo, includes three general values: Maintain high standards of integrity; be courteous, respectful and promote civility; and be accountable. Each of the three have more specific values under them.

Bridgeo said if councilors choose to adopt a values statement, it could be incorporated into the code of ethics section of the city’s administrative regulations, as provided for in the city charter.

City councilors meet at 6:30 p.m. Thursday in the council chamber at Augusta City Center.

Councilors also are scheduled to discuss whether Augusta should declare itself to be a food-sovereign community. Doing so would enable local farmers and some other food producers to sell the foods they produce directly to consumers in the city, without being licensed or inspected by the state.

A new state law, the Maine Food Sovereignty Act, gives municipalities the right to allow such producer-to-consumer transactions within their borders.

Meat, which still is regulated at the federal level, and goods sold at farmers’ markets, are not subject to the new provisions.

Bridgeo said the cities of Auburn and Rockland have adopted similar ordinances, as have about 30 small towns in Maine.

Councilors also are scheduled to: discuss reorganizing the Community Services Department; discuss two proposals to change zoning, on Riverside Drive and Whitten Road; and discuss allowing the residents of a Boothby Street home to reach their property by crossing city property on North Street.

Keith Edwards — 621-5647

[email protected]

Twitter: @kedwardskj

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