After input from legal counsel, the drafted Code of Conduct Resolution for Gloucester officials is being amended and will be revisited by the Ordinance and Administration Standing Committee later this month.
City Council Vice Chairwoman Val Gilman adjusted the resolution, which seeks to construct a productive working environment within the city, to focus on elected officials such as the city councilor and not the mayor or those appointed to boards or commissions by the mayor.
The Times was not able to access a copy of the amended resolution by press time.
The changes to the draft are a response to city General Counsel Chip Payson's advice in mid April to amend the resolution so that it reflects a “sense of the City Council” and avoids any “overreach into elected officials” — noting the authority held by the mayor, boards commissions and the administration as examples.
Without seeing the fully amended draft, Council President Steve LeBlanc noted at Monday night’s Ordinance and Administration meeting that he is hesitant to move this resolution forward.
“I think we need to follow the civility resolution instead of creating new ones," he said.
The city’s Civility Agreement, Gilman said, was developed six years ago as councilors were dealing with some issues at the time and wanted to make sure that their most vulnerable population was comforted and felt safe living in Gloucester.
The drafted Code of Conduct is different, she said.
The proposed resolution is “more on our conduct on how we should behave with councilors and with the public,” Gilman said, explaining that councilors would like to do a better job in treating each other with dignity and respect.
As LeBlanc awaits a copy of the new changes to the resolution, others affirmed Gilman in the possible benefit a document like this could have on the city.
“I just wanted to applaud Gilman for going out and seeking further information to improve us,” Councilor Melissa Cox said. “I know that we have a civility agreement, but what Gilman added to the Code of Conduct makes it a little more robust and addresses some current issues that we haven’t had in our civility resolution."
The Ordinance and Administration Standing Committee will discuss Gilman’s amendments at its next meeting, which is slated for May 17.
Staff writer Taylor Ann Bradford can be reached at 978-675-2705 or firstname.lastname@example.org.