At a specially called meeting, the board decided to table the topic until their next regularly scheduled meeting in November.
James Walth, the board’s chairman, said the board decided to hold off on including the language for two reasons. First, he said the language they received regarding the topic was “too vague.”
Walth said if the board put the wrong kind of language regarding bullying into the code of ethics, they would be “inundated with ethics calls just because of personality issues between people.”
Second, Walth said revising the language in order to incorporate it into the revised code of ethics would take too long. The board has been working on the revisions for three years, he said, and they were hoping to submit the revisions to the city this week.
“If we started right now to try to incorporate some form of language (about bullying) in our current revised that we’re trying to get to the city council for approval, it would probably be another year,” he said.
During the meeting, board member Eric Dec questioned whether the bullying language needed to be included in the revised code of ethics at all.
“I look at the code of ethics as … taking our code and making it so that members of the government authority have clear guidance as to what would be a conflict of interest,” he said. “And we have in there the policies, the procedures, the due process for them violating that. Now, if we’re going to expand that, then that’s fine. But I’m just not sure we need to.”