Mayor Mike Morden trying to set a respectful tone at council. (THE NEWS/Files)

New mayor wants to set a new tone at Maple Ridge city hall

Proposes a Council Code of Conduct for politicians

It’s often a forum for heated debate and democratic discussion, but Maple Ridge’s new mayor is trying to keep the proceedings as pleasant as possible.

Council, at its first meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 13, is to vote on a Council Code of Conduct, as noted in incoming Mayor Mike Morden’s inaugural speech.

Morden included the code in Tuesday’s agenda, seeking council’s endorsement.

“All of us have recognized the importance of creating an environment of respect, professionalism, and open-mindedness as we deliberate important issues facing the community,” the mayor writes.

He also suggests that council review the code every year “to ensure we maintain a safe and welcoming atmosphere for our colleagues, city staff and the community as a whole.”

The code spells out the expectations of councillors and says “conducting oneself with honesty, integrity and in a way that furthers the city’s ability to provide good governance to the community.”

The code says that councillors will demonstrate respect for each other by “fostering a safe and welcoming space for debate and decision-making.”

It also says councillors will demonstrate respect through “professional and respectful verbal and body language”; asking questions rather than making assumptions; arriving prepared for council meetings; approaching issues with an open mind; criticizing issues and not individuals … and “being sensitive to others’ emotions when they are feeling very passionate about an issue.”

Standards are also included for council when it interacts with the public.

The Council Code of Conduct also says that ensuring a fair and professional process at council will “support a welcoming environment in which all members of the community feel safe to share their views with council.”

Councillors are also committing to “respectful verbal and body language, making few interjections”; … avoiding repetition or re-stating what was just said; … “acknowledging how speakers are feeling and recognizing the vulnerability that speakers may feel when presenting their issues to council …”

In order to foster public confidence, councillors are also asked to lead by example, treat everyone equally, and ensure the public feels heard by “avoiding inflammatory comments.”

In addition, councillors are also asked to speak clearly and “at a moderate volume” so people in the council chambers and watching online can hear.

City staff will also help out by ensuring that high-quality presentations are brought to council and by asking members of the public to sign up to speak before any meeting begins.

“This is an excellent opportunity for us to set the tone for this council term, and I look forward to working with you, to serve the citizens of Maple Ridge,” Morden said.

Just Posted

UPDATE: More information on temporary supportive housing in Maple Ridge by end of week

Evacuation shelter now a night refuge only, then shuts for good March 31.

More condos sought for downtown Maple Ridge project

Seeking 20 per cent increase in number of units

Maple Ridge roads getting rehab

Construction season starting soon

Pets: FIV – highly misunderstood

The Feline Immunodeficiency Virus is a retrovirus that affects approximately 2.5 to… Continue reading

BC Ferries has no plans to implement debit for vehicle ticket payments

Debit accepted for foot passengers, on-board purchases for all vessels

VIDEO: RCMP ask kids to help name soon-to-be police dogs

13 German shepherd puppies will be born this year

Dozens of B.C. temperature records smashed as spring brings early warmth

Squamish Airport was the hottest spot in all of Canada on Monday

Hackers seek holes in B.C. Hydro power grid, auditor says

System meets standards, but local outages still a concern

B.C. RCMP stop cyclist with no helmet, find out he’s wanted for murder

Kyle Antonio Dias, 19, to face second-degree murder charge in Toronto

VIDEO: Vancouver police release video of 2018 assault in hopes of finding suspects

The attack happened at about 2 a.m. on Mar. 31, 2018, outside Pierre’s Champagne Lounge in Yaletown

British Columbia Teachers’ Federation welcomes new leader

Teri Mooring will take over as president this summer

Disappearance of Merritt cowboy now deemed suspicious: police

Ben Tyner was reported missing when his riderless horse was discovered on a logging road

Distillers hope federal budget scraps alcohol escalator tax

Tax hike set for April 1, marking third automatic increase in three years time

CBSA warns of delays at South Surrey border

Infrastructure upgrading means lane closures likely, especially March 20-22

Most Read