Regional District of Nanaimo board members now have a standard of conduct policy.
The board approved the code of conduct after it was amended, at its regular board meeting on Jan. 25. They also endorsed updates to the policy regarding legal opinions on conflict of interest.
Prior to adoption, Electoral Area F director Leanne Salter was hesitant, as she didn’t like the statement in the accountability section that she is accountable for the behaviour and actions of other directors and the collective board.
RDN CAO Douglas Holmes said the intention of the wording is to reflect the collective nature of the board.
“It isn’t a thing by itself except for the 19 of you,” Holmes explained. “And so it talks about the conduct of the board, being the intention really to be the aggregate actions of all the board. So I think that’s really the spirit that is intended there.”
Salter said the wording could be interpreted differently.
“I would like that to be rejigged,” she said. “Because the way it reads now, we’re responsible for one another.”
Parksville director Ed Mayne supported Salter’s suggestion.
“A simple change that was mentioned, would be something to the effect that honours the collective decision of council (board) would kind of solve that problem rather than saying the wording that way it is,” said Mayne. “I really have a problem with the way it says right now. “
The board approved amending the statement in the code and it now reads, “elected officials will be responsible for the decisions that they make and be accountable for their own actions and honour the intentions of the collective board.”
The new policy aligns with the provincial legislation plan to soon make code of conduct a requirement to be enacted by local governments.
Elected officials in each four-year term will be mandated to address code of conduct expectations as part of the orientation process.