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Pleasanton council to discuss norms, code of conduct during special meeting

Staff seek policy direction on standards for how councilmembers should carry themselves

The Pleasanton City Council is set to hold a special meeting Tuesday where staff will be asking the members to consider endorsing new council norms as well as establishing a "City Council Code of Conduct".

On Feb. 24, the council participated in a governance workshop, which started the process of developing norms for how council members should present themselves.

According to the staff report for the special meeting this week, the council suggested norms where they would invest in respecting and building constructive relationships, showcasing ethical and professional leadership, and creating an environment focused on trusted communication.

Staff is recommending that councilmembers review and endorse these draft norms so that they can return with the formal norms document at a subsequent City Council meeting for adoption.

The "City Council Code of Conduct", on the other hand, is a more detailed description for how members of the dais should treat each other as well as city staff and the public.

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Because of the extra nuance in the code of conduct, staff are recommending that the council provide direction on whether it wishes to adopt a code and if so, what format it should be based on examples that staff will be presenting from neighboring cities.

According to the staff report, if the council chooses to look at adopting a new code of conduct, staff will also be looking for suggestions as to what the document should contain. Based on the council's comments, staff will then return at a later date with a draft code of conduct for review and adoption.

The special City Council meeting is scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. Tuesday (May 23). The full agenda can be accessed here.

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Christian Trujano
 
Christian Trujano, a Bay Area native and San Jose State alum, joined Embarcadero Media in May 2022 following his graduation. He is an award-winning student journalist who has covered stories in San Jose ranging from crime to higher education. Read more >>

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Pleasanton council to discuss norms, code of conduct during special meeting

Staff seek policy direction on standards for how councilmembers should carry themselves

by / Pleasanton Weekly

Uploaded: Mon, May 22, 2023, 7:53 pm

The Pleasanton City Council is set to hold a special meeting Tuesday where staff will be asking the members to consider endorsing new council norms as well as establishing a "City Council Code of Conduct".

On Feb. 24, the council participated in a governance workshop, which started the process of developing norms for how council members should present themselves.

According to the staff report for the special meeting this week, the council suggested norms where they would invest in respecting and building constructive relationships, showcasing ethical and professional leadership, and creating an environment focused on trusted communication.

Staff is recommending that councilmembers review and endorse these draft norms so that they can return with the formal norms document at a subsequent City Council meeting for adoption.

The "City Council Code of Conduct", on the other hand, is a more detailed description for how members of the dais should treat each other as well as city staff and the public.

Because of the extra nuance in the code of conduct, staff are recommending that the council provide direction on whether it wishes to adopt a code and if so, what format it should be based on examples that staff will be presenting from neighboring cities.

According to the staff report, if the council chooses to look at adopting a new code of conduct, staff will also be looking for suggestions as to what the document should contain. Based on the council's comments, staff will then return at a later date with a draft code of conduct for review and adoption.

The special City Council meeting is scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. Tuesday (May 23). The full agenda can be accessed here.

Comments

ddclausen
Registered user
Old Towne
on May 23, 2023 at 9:38 am
ddclausen, Old Towne
Registered user
on May 23, 2023 at 9:38 am

Does the city have an existing code of conduct for Council and Planning Commission? If so can we get access to it?


keeknlinda
Registered user
Vintage Hills
on May 23, 2023 at 9:56 am
keeknlinda, Vintage Hills
Registered user
on May 23, 2023 at 9:56 am

How painfully sad that elected officials who are grown-ups must be publically called together in a special meeting to understand what is and isn't proper in how they treat one another. A gentle reminder, ladies and gentlemen: Community of Character promotes these character traits, which have recently been little evidenced on the dais: Respect, Responsibility, Compassion, Self-Discipline, Honesty, and Integrity.


been there
Registered user
Del Prado
on May 23, 2023 at 10:22 am
been there, Del Prado
Registered user
on May 23, 2023 at 10:22 am

Another waste of precious money and time (resources). A code of conduct is for the military on how and when to address your overlords, I mean officers. Seems like we are turning into a gestapo state when a set of behaviors is needed to be able to enforce against council members or the various commissions (not staff?) in case they violate the RULES. Talk about becoming WOKE, this is it. Next there will be a set of words council can and cannot use/speak/think or they will be punished or censored, or maybe that already exists and we are blind to it. Would someone on the council stand up for free speech, including their own, and stop this nonsense?


MsVic
Registered user
Mission Park
on May 23, 2023 at 12:29 pm
MsVic, Mission Park
Registered user
on May 23, 2023 at 12:29 pm

Not a waste of money. Waste of money is 10 million being spent on skate park and century house.
I have attended or zoomed in on council meetings. Frequently and I do mean frequently members of the council and our Mayor do not talk to other council members with respect. It's a sad day when our council members are having to have a code of conduct implemented so they remember to act with dignity and represent our community of character. I'll be at the meeting tonight to see how they conduct themselves.


Tricie
Registered user
Mohr Park
on May 23, 2023 at 1:42 pm
Tricie, Mohr Park
Registered user
on May 23, 2023 at 1:42 pm

I'm glad to read (from the comments) that I am not the only one to question this need for a "City Council Code of Conduct" and the time taken to come up with said code. For heaven's sakes, did we not elect grown up human beings, and did we not *assume* civilized, polite behavior at Council meetings, and in general from these people? I am very disappointed with those for whom this reminder of civility is necessary. I'm also slightly worried about where this might lead, as suggested by 'been there.'


MsVic
Registered user
Mission Park
on May 24, 2023 at 9:30 am
MsVic, Mission Park
Registered user
on May 24, 2023 at 9:30 am

The meeting last night was a sad reminder of why code of conduct is needed. Snarky remarks by Council member Arkin then claiming it was a joke was a prime example. Council member Testa claiming she never raised her hand to silence another member, but raised her hand to “protect” herself, nonsense, she clearly, on video, used the gesture to insinuate “talk to the hand”. And then the Mayor, unable to define what happens if code of conduct broken as there is no consequence became argumentative and rude. Asking if the council member, who was asking, if he had read the material before the meeting, not the first time Mayor has done this and only has ever asked of one council member this same question. All because one member asks very pointed questions that the public should see are being asked. So carry and congratulations on majority of 4, you managed to continue to alienate one of our Council Members who asks great questions.


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