Lantzville councillors finally saw a code of conduct policy they liked and adopted it.
Councillors, during their May 6 meeting, voted unanimously in favour of adopting a new code of conduct policy. Following the vote, councillors all signed a code of conduct declaration.
The new code of conduct policy is the exact same code of conduct policy that was adopted by Nanaimo city councillors earlier this year. The policy is based on the model developed by the Union of British Columbia Municipalities but contains elements from a handful of municipalities that have their own code of conduct policies, including the City of Prince George.
The decision comes nearly six months after Lantzville councillors first began discussing the adoption of a code of conduct policy or bylaw. Voting on the matter had been deferred three times due for various reasons.
Lantzville staff had also drafted their own code of conduct bylaw but councillors ended up rejecting it due to concerns raised by Coun. Ian Savage about whether it conformed with provincial and federal law. Savage also felt staff’s proposal forced councillors to tattle on each other.
During last week’s meeting, Coun. Karen Proctor was the only councillor to speak openly about the code of conduct policy. She said while she was happy to adopt it, she didn’t have any issues with the previous policy councillors rejected.
Speaking to the News Bulletin, Savage said he was pleased and “very proud” to see council finally agree on and adopt the code of conduct.
“This is something that I think is long overdue. I have seen a lot of misbehavior with councillors from many jurisdictions in both Canada and the United States and this suits me perfectly because I’ve always striven for the highest ideals and have always believed that teamwork and co-operating gets you much further than division and animosity,” he said. “I think what people can take away from this is that the municipality’s business will be conducted in a more efficient way.”
Savage said what makes Lantzville’s adopted model better than the district’s original code of conduct is that it contains language and legal framework that is more in line with provincial and federal law. He also said the district’s proposal encouraged division.
“The one we adopted is more invitational for councillors to reach to the highest standards, which makes it more satisfying than having councillors tattle on each other,” Savage said.
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