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Governance policies updated

Changes include council holding mayor to account and standards for correspondence

By: Victoria Paterson

  |  Posted: Wednesday, May 28, 2014 06:00 am

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City council’s ongoing work to revise and consolidate its governance and city manager policies is almost done.

On Monday, council voted on a number of policies and policy changes and rescinded several policies now considered unnecessary thanks to consolidation.

A policy on monitoring the chief administrative officer’s performance is still under review and will be back in front of council in September.

“These policies have been here before … most recently in March of this year and these revised policies reflect the will of council,” said Coun. Wes Brodhead.

Council was presented with staff suggested revisions back in March and were given the opportunity to provide their feedback in April. The versions voted on during Monday’s meeting addressed that council feedback as well as amendments made during the Monday meeting.

Amendments made during Monday night’s meeting covered a wide range of issues. The majority of them were the suggestions of Coun. Sheena Hughes.

One of Hughes’ amendments added a clause to the mayor and council’s job description policy that would see council responsible for ensuring that the mayor acts consistently with council’s rules, policies and those “legitimately imposed upon it from outside the corporation.”

Council voted unanimously in favour of that change.

Hughes’ attempt to remove a line in the council member’s code of conduct policy that disallows councillors from making public comments on unsatisfactory staff performance and to direct such negative feedback to the city manager was defeated by council.

“What you’re really thinking will not be presented to the people,” Hughes said, suggesting transparency is showing the good, the bad and the ugly.

Only weeks after losing a vote to get a formal correspondence policy in place to govern use of city letterhead, Hughes did successfully offer an amendment to the council code of conduct policy that council correspondence will adhere to professional standards with ethical, businesslike and lawful conduct.

“I’m going to be very supportive of this,” said Mayor Nolan Crouse, who said that seems to include social media communications, where he often sees “sniping.”

Council voted unanimously in favour of that change.

There were other tweaks including the timing of policy reviews, word-smithing and an increase to the value of gifts or other benefits that council members can accept from $20 to $100.


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