A Code of Conduct for City Councillors is one step closer after it narrowly won 4-3 support at the Community Services Committee May 12. Committee’s recommendation goes to council May 26 for a final vote.
Among other things, the Code limits gifts to councillors over $25, provides limits on councillors directly soliciting funds for Ward-based events or projects (disallowing gifts from anyone with a current development or other application) and outlines respectful treatment of staff. I’m supportive of all these measures, particularly the rules around accepting gifts and councillors soliciting funds for councillor-initiated projects. These activities were occurring without the benefit of guidelines or a requirement for reporting; the code provides a measure of projection for the council member, residents, and the city as a whole.
Staff are recommending that if there are complaints about code violations, these would be dealt with by contracting the services of an Integrity Commissioner as needed. If a violation is upheld, penalties could range from a censure up to suspension without pay.
There are restrictions in filing complaints during an election year, to prevent politically motivated mischief.
Read the code here:
I welcome the Code of Conduct to provide clarity, accountability and transparency and provide needed guidelines around matters involving money. I also welcome the restrictions on complaints during an election year, having personally been subjected to baseless allegations during the last election by those supporting a challenging candidate.
Do you support a Code? Does it go far enough? Too far? Read the code and leave a comment below.