Tonight, the Franklin Common Council may finally vote on a proposed code of conduct for elected officials and board and commission members. The possible vote comes after discussions on the subject have taken almost a year.
What a colossal waste of time on an issue literally no one in Franklin cares about. I’m not surprised. After all, this is the same council years ago spent two consecutive months trying to decide when to hold Trick or Treat.
Why must we spend months concocting a written document for electeds to use as a guide on how to treat one another, to remind them to listen to residents when they speak at public meetings, to take into consideration they might be nervous standing at a microphone, etc., etc., etc. Aren’t we adults capable of exhibiting common sense?
I’ve blogged in the past about Franklin alderman John Nelson ripping me at a council meeting for my written criticisms of him in the past. Nelson should have taken the appropriate response by reacting specifically to my points that he questioned or disagreed with. He did not. Instead he resorted to childish, petty name-calling.
So a few weeks later I made a rare appearance at a council meeting and during the citizen comment period I drilled Nelson from pillar to post. After I left he repeated the name-calling and played a ridiculous game of feigning ignorance, claiming he never directly identified me. How stupid does he think people are? Nelson and everyone else knew exactly who he was referring to.
I’d have an ounce or two of respect for the guy if he had any professionalism, common courtesy, or class, and apologized.
Since it appears imminent a code of conduct will be adopted I’m pleased to see the following provision will be included.
ELECTED OFFICIALS AND COMMISSION/BOARD/COMMITTEE MEMBERS CONDUCT TOWARDS THE PUBLIC
Members are expected to treat citizens with care and respect.
All Council/Commission/Board/Committee Members are to respect and appreciate the public’s participation, input, and opinions.
No signs of partiality, prejudice, or disrespect are to be evident on the part of individual Council/Commission/Board/Committee Members toward an individual participating in a public forum.
Ironically (big time) Nelson, who may indeed vote tonight to approve the proposed code of conduct, has already violated the above. Nelson is a perfect example of Franklin’s lack of leadership. Now that Dan Mayer is no longer an alderman (During his time Mayer brutally interrupted a volunteer parks commissioner at a public meeting as he was speaking) Nelson has elevated his status on the list of Franklin’s worst common council members.
I’m also pleased that the new code will include a process where a citizen can file a formal complaint against an elected official for failing to comply. Hmm. That deserves further study.