Code of conduct is a distraction

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Re: “Council to grapple with code of conduct” Airdrie City View, Jan. 12, 2017, Page 1.

I was puzzled with the front page story in the Jan. 12 issue of the Airdrie City View that identified the need for an updated code of conduct for our city council members following the passing of Bill 20 at the provincial legislature.

This article was further supported by your editorial entitled “Council solidarity” on Page 10 of the same issue.

It only took me a few minutes of research on the City of Airdrie website to discover that we already have a very comprehensive “Code of Conduct” Bylaw, that being Bylaw No. B-43/2015 of the City of Airdrie in the Province of Alberta.

The existing Code of Conduct Bylaw was signed into effect by the Mayor on Sept. 21, 2015, some six months after Bill 20 had passed. In this regard, the city’s obligation has already been met.

Reviewing that bylaw, I don’t ever see the word “solidarity” show up. Instead, I see that the bylaw specifies that the elected officials be independent, impartial and duly responsible to the people, recognizing that the function of council members is, at all times, service to the community and to the public.

It seems to me that any talk about a new code of conduct is a diversion, a smoke screen, to shift the focus away from the recent activities of this council. Rather than crying “solidarity” they might better focus on the language in that bylaw addressing conflict of interest.

Can we please get back to managing this city with the best interests of the community as the prime focus?

Rick Sweet

Airdrie

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