Code of Conduct for councillors one step closer

code of conductA 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:

Code of Conduct, Item 8

My Take:

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.

Your Take:

Do you support a Code? Does it go far enough? Too far? Read the code and leave a comment below.

Written by Marianne Meed Ward

A Better Burlington began in 2006 after my neighbours said they felt left out of city decisions, learning about them only after they’d been made.

As journalist for 22 years, I thought “I can do something about that” and a website and newsletter were born. They’ve taken various forms and names over the years, but the intent remains: To let you know what’s happening at City Hall before decisions are made, so you can influence outcomes for A Better Burlington.

The best decisions are made when elected representatives tap the wisdom of our community members, and welcome many different perspectives.This site allows residents to comment and debate with each other; our Commenting Guidelines established in 2016 aim to keep debate respectful.

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