Semper pro populus is the Latin phrase for “always for the people.”
When local government officials act on behalf of their own ego and in their own self interest, they fail to act on behalf of the people who elected them. There is little question that a parallel exists between fiduciary duties and the obligations of elected public service. The term fiduciary, as derived from the Latin term “fides” or “fiducia”, means trust and confidence.
When the public elects an official, the public places its trust and confidence in that individual to act on behalf of the best interest of the public. Elected officials make significant decisions on behalf of the public, including how to spend taxpayer money and how to deliver services. A fiduciary, who has the power and obligation to take action on behalf of others, must adhere to strict standards of diligence, responsibility and honesty. Fiduciaries must use their “best efforts” for those they serve.
Likewise, in the case of an elected public official, a responsibility exists to use skill, care and diligence in providing service to the public.