Millet Town Council has approved a new official code of conduct for elected officials at their regular meeting Apr. 25.
The item was presented to councilors by assistant CAO Lisa Schoening, who noted that the new Municipal Government Act requires municipalities to have such codes in place.
Schoening said it isn’t required right now, but it will be in the future so Millet is getting ahead of the game. The code of conduct stated the public should expect the highest standards of conduct from its elected officials, and a code of conduct is consistent with transparent, responsible government.
The code includes a number of separate sections describing what’s expected of elected officials in different situations. A few are described below.
Representing the municipality: Members shall act honestly and, in good faith, serve the welfare and interests of the Municipality as a whole.
Communicating on behalf of the Municipality: Unless Council directs otherwise, the Mayor is Council’s official spokesperson and in the absence of the Mayor it is the Deputy Mayor. All inquiries from the media regarding the official Council position on an issue shall be referred to Council’s official spokesperson.
Respecting the Decision-making process: Decision making authority lies with Council, and not with any individual Member.
Adherence to Policies, Procedures and Bylaws: A Member must not encourage disobedience of any bylaw, policy or procedure of the Municipality in responding to a member of the public, as this undermines public confidence in the Municipality and the rule of law.
Respectful Interactions with Council, Staff, the Public and Others: Members shall treat one another, employees of the Municipality and members of the public with courtesy, dignity and respect and without abuse, bullying or intimidation.
Confidential information: No Member shall use confidential information for personal benefit or for the benefit of any other organization.
Conflicts of interest: Members are to be free from undue influence and not act or appear to act in order to gain financial or other benefits for themselves, family, friends or associates, business or otherwise.
Improper use of influence: Members shall not contact or otherwise attempt to influence members of any adjudicative body (ex: arbitrator) regarding any matter before it relating to the Municipality.
It was noted at the meeting that Millet council had been discussing the code of conduct since February of this year.
Since the code of conduct bylaw was presented for the first time Apr. 25, it required four readings rather than three: first, second, a motion to consider third reading and then third reading. Councilors unanimously approved all readings.