KAYSVILLE—The Kaysville City Council is seeking input from the public on a revised draft of a Code of Conduct for city leaders.
The draft is posted online at kaysvillecity.com and comments will be accepted until Oct. 29, after which the council will vote on whether or not to accept it as written.
According to the introduction, the purpose of the code is “to ensure public confidence in the integrity of local government and its effective, open, and fair operation.”
The original code, as drafted, was considered too lengthy, too specific, and too directed at the actions of one council member. Dave Adams, who was elected last November, had done some of the actions that were proscribed in the code.
The new code was prepared by Shayne Scott, the city’s newly appointed city manager, after the council tasked him with the rewrite at its Sept. 1 meeting.
Scott told council members at their Sept. 15 meeting that he had reviewed similar codes used in four Utah cities and a fifth city outside the state.
“I addressed each item and made a determination if that was a good aspect for Kaysville,” he said. “I tried to take more of a broad approach while still mentioning things that were common in other codes.”
Scott said his goal was to keep the code concise yet address all the issues that had been broached, avoiding redundancy with existing state and local laws.
“I think the key portion I struggled with was the enforcement portion,” he said. “I feel like that’s a tough thing to decide.”
As it is now written, the two-page code is intended to be “self-enforcing” if members of the city council and city boards, committees and commissions become familiar with it and keep the standards outlined.
If the standards are not met, the chairs of committees or the mayor “have the responsibility to intervene when actions of Members appear to be in violation,” it reads. It then outlines four possible sanctions: an official reprimand in an open meeting, a formal letter of censure, loss of committee assignments or removal from meetings.
The code lists nine standards, the first that city leaders should act in the public interest and not for any private or personal interest, and that they should ensure fair and equal treatment to all.
Other standards included are for leaders to conduct themselves “above reproach and avoid even the appearance of impropriety,” respect the process and rules of order, and listen courteously to all public discussions, to name a few.
It also lists the need to maintain “a positive and constructive work place environment for city employees and for citizens and businesses dealing with the City. Members shall recognize their special role in dealing with City employees to in no way create the perception of inappropriate direction to staff.”
Jake Garn, a council member, was complimentary of the new draft, calling it “principles based rather than a list of specific behaviors.”
The code can be read in its entirety by going to the city website and following the link to “Code of Ethics.” Comments can then be emailed to email@example.com.