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Carlow Mayo council review new Code of Conduct

Carlow Mayo Township council reviewed a new Code of Conduct and passed a new bylaw to implement a Respect in the Workplace policy at their Nov. 20 meeting. The former arose from a recommendation from the Integrity Commissioner to revise the Code of Conduct, as a result of his final report at the October council meeting, on Mayor Randy Wallace’s Municipal Code of Conduct breaches. The latter was implemented due to a request from the township’s insurance provider. Jenny Snider, the CAO/clerk, comments on these developments.

Snider presented these reports to review the draft updated Code of Conduct for the township council and the township’s local boards and to approve the new Respect in the Workplace Policy in her clerk’s report at the Nov. 20 council meeting.

For the Code of Conduct review, the Integrity Commissioner, Tony Fleming from Cunningham Swan LLP, recommended that the township review its Code of Conduct in his final report at the Oct. 10 council meeting, on the breaches to the Code of Conduct committed by Mayor Randy Wallace. Fleming noted that on a number of occasions during his investigation into Wallace’s Code of Conduct breaches that the Carlow Mayo Code of Conduct was silent or unclear on matters which are routinely addressed in other municipalities’ Codes of Conduct. While he said in his report that it was up to council to decide what conduct is or isn’t appropriate and they do not have to adopt these other municipalities’ approaches, he recommended that they update their Code of Conduct to address behaviours he and his team were unable to deal with during their investigation.

The Respect in the Workplace Policy, implemented by bylaw 18-2023, was done as a condition of renewal for the township’s municipal insurance for 2024, as they needed to have a policy clearly defining the following; physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, verbal abuse, psychological abuse, neglect and harassment. Snider says this is standard for their insurance company to request policies, and so the township designed the Respect in the Workplace Policy to cover what they wanted. It can be found on the township website at www.carlowmayo.ca/wp-content/uploads/2023/11/Respect-in-the-workplace-policy.pdf.

Snider told The Bancroft Times on Nov. 22 that the Code of Conduct was completely redone and updated, as recommended by Fleming in his report. “It was taken to council as a draft for them to review and will be taken back for passing at the Dec. 12 meeting. The Respect in the Workplace Policy is new and was created from a request by our insurance company, unrelated to the Code of Conduct update. It will be posted on our website under bylaws later today.”

Michael Riley, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Bancroft Times