City commission to consider code of conduct
By Kevin Elliott
The Birmingham City Commission and city staff will be working together to draft an official code of conduct for local government elected officials, appointed officials and members of the public.
Birmingham Assistant City Manager Jana Ecker said a code of conduct was discussed during a February 14 workshop with commissioners. The point of the workshop was to ensure respectful and civil communication, public engagement between elected and appointed officials with members of the public.
City manager Tom Markus said at the commission’s Monday, February 28, meeting that he recommended a draft be made and reviewed by the city’s ethics board, but should originate with the commission.
“We did research on where codes of ethics come from and how they operate, and looked at other models. Some replicated more of a personnel policy rather than a code of conduct for elected boards,” Markus said. “We will come back with the codes you looked at, issues you talked about, and hopefully you’ll debate and ask questions about it, and have comments from the ethics board and anyone else. At the end of the day, for a code to be successful it has to be agreed to and understood by the current elected board. This isn’t about any one person, it’s about all of you.”
Commissioners unanimously agreed to direct Markus to prepare a draft code of conduct for placement on a future city commission agenda for review and consideration.