Council will revisit a proposed policy meant to keep them in line this week.
During a Committee of the Whole meeting Tuesday night in the second floor conference room, members of council will decide if they are in favour of establishing a code of conduct and, if so, what it will look like.
The concept of a council and city committee-specific set of guidelines sprung out of the core services review process. Administration put together a draft of the document as part of the core services review implementation plan that was considered in July, but council deferred making a decision on it until they had more time to deliberate.
"I think we should, as mayor and council, own it," said Coun. Garth Frizzell at the July 8 meeting where the draft was introduced.
During that meeting, Coun. Cameron Stolz said he had concerns over the provision that questions to staff or requests for background information could only be directed to the city manager. "Does that put staff in an awkward position?" he asked.
Couns. Murry Krause and Brian Skakun both called the draft a step in the right direction, though they also expressed a desire to see some more discussion.
In a report to the committee from legislative services director Walter Babicz, the code of conduct is supposed to be complementary to the already existing legislation governing the ethical conduct of elected officials. The Community Charter sets out provisions for adhering to the Oath of Office, attending council meetings, conflict of interest and confidentiality rules. The Local Government Act, Financial Disclosure Act and Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act are other provincial level rules for council to follow. The municipality also has a council procedures bylaw and a procedures manual for committees, commissions and boards.
As currently written, the proposed code of conduct would place the onus on council to govern themselves and allows for the group to impose sanctions on someone who violates the policy.
While many cities across the country have some form of a code of conduct, they can be controversial.
More than a week ago, the Victoria city council shot down a code of conduct proposed by their mayor.