Sylvan Lake town council gave first reading to the Code of Conduct for Council and Council Committees Bylaw during the council meeting on April 11.
Mayor Megan Hanson told Sylvan Lake News the purpose of the bylaw is to outline the roles of council in how members should conduct themselves and it establishes the complaint process for reporting improper conduct.
“This code will guide current and future councillors on how to carry out our role as an elected official and this bylaw is one of the key documents we review when providing an orientation to new councillors.”
As outlined in the Municipal Government Act (MGA) every council is required to adopt a Code of Conduct Bylaw which includes the topics of:
– representing the municipality
– communication on behalf of the municipality
-respecting the decision-making process
– adherence to policies, procedures and bylaws
– respectful interactions with councillors, staff, the public and others
– conflicts of interest
– improper use of influence
– use of municipal assets and services
The bylaw also establishes a complaint system that includes the method of how a complaint may be made and the process to determine how to handle the complaint
Updating the Code of Conduct Bylaw was important to council as it has not been updated for some time, Hanson said.
“Our code of conduct was last updated in 2018, and it is our practice to update regularly to ensure we are current and keeping up with changes that take place over the years.”
Many of the changes made to the bylaw were simple ones, Hanson said.
“Most of the proposed changes were just cleaning up the wording and applying plain language to the bylaw to ensure it is easily understood by all who read it. Minor changes took place such as changing the term ‘in camera’ to ‘closed session’ along with updating information on social media disclaimers.”