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City Hall introduces a new Code of Conduct

The City of Hamilton now has a new Code of Conduct governing the behaviour of Council members. Mayor Graeme Outerbridge said in statement that City Hall was recommending the Code be incorporated into the law governing the municipalities.

“When we took office last year, the Council reviewed all documentation pertaining to running the City of Hamilton. We found the Code of Conduct that was in place was not sufficient. Working with the Secretary to the City of Hamilton, Mr Edward Benevides and outside consultants we created a document that we feel carries heft and is appropriate for a board responsible for setting the policies of a city.

“It is our view that the Code of Conduct, as revised, should be enshrined in legislation so all Councils going forward would be required to sign this document. Adding the document to the Municipalities Act will ensure there is a clear understanding of what the Council’s obligations are to fellow board members, the staff and the stakeholders of the City.”

The new Code comes more than a year after the councillors were elected into office. Not everyone signed the existing Code of Conduct and it is unclear whether the new one has been signed by the Council.

Last year City Hall said the document had to be reviewed in order to “strengthen” the language. But former Mayor Charles Gosling suggested that the lapse may also indicate that the new team is not as committed to greater transparency as it has claimed.

Both Codes can be accessed on the city hall website (www.cityhall.bm).

Home Affairs Minister Michael Fahy, who has initiated reform of the Municipalities Act, has already indicated that Government plans to legislate the Code of Conduct for both municipalities.

In another City of Hamilton development, the Minister confirmed yesterday that he had now received the agreement to lease the waterfront property and other documents necessary for Government to conduct its due diligence on the waterfront redevelopment project.

Government has waited at least five months for the documents, and it is unclear why City Hall refused to provide them.

Senator Fahy said the documents are now being reviewed by the Attorney General.

Hamilton Mayor Graeme Outerbridge

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Published June 20, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated June 20, 2013 at 12:02 am)

City Hall introduces a new Code of Conduct

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