Town staff to research potential code of conduct for Orangeville Council

November 26, 2015   ·   0 Comments

Screen Shot 2015-11-26 at 1.37.19 AMBy Tabitha Wells

Town staff have been instructed to move forward with researching a potential Code of Conduct for members of Orangeville Council.

Early into this term of Council, the Code of Conduct issue had been brought forward only to be shot down.

But at Monday’s council meeting it appeared some members of Council had re- considered the issue.

During the latter part of the meeting, Councillor Gail Campbell presented Council with a motion that would ask staff to look into the issue.

She had provided her Notice of Motion regarding the proposal of a code of conduct at the November 9 Council meeting, explaining that it was something that should be looked at, especially with the County hiring an Integrity Commissioner.

“It seemed appropriate to me that we do this as well, as a lower-tier municipality,” explained Councillor Campbell. “We act with integrity, but we also have to appear as acting with integrity and ethics. I think it’s really important that we have this in writing for
our municipality.”

She added that this wasn’t about setting a precedent, as many other municipalities have already implemented Codes of Conduct for members of Council.

“This is something we should put in black and white,” she said. “We talk about being open and transparent, and while that’s over-used, that’s what we try for, and we want the public to be able to see that as well.”

Councillor Campbell’s motion said a Code of Conduct “‘is consistent with the principles of a transparent and accountable government,” and that accountability, ethics and integrity are a core part of instilling confidence by the public in both their government and the political process. Whereas elected officials are expected to perform their duties in office and arrange their private affairs in a manner that promotes public confidence and avoids the improper use of influence of their office and conflicts of interest, both apparent and real,” said Councillor Campbell, reading the text during presentation of her motion, “… a written Code of Conduct ensures that members of Council share a common integrity base and understanding for acceptable conduct extending beyond legislative provisions governing the conduct of members of Council.”

The motion concluded by stating that Council would direct staff to provide a report to them by March 21, 2016 that includes a draft Code of Conduct for Council’s Consideration.

The draft would be written based on an examination of the best practices of other municipalities.

The motion carried, and staff will bring back a report by the stated date regarding their thoughts on a Code of Conduct and a draft version of the document.

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