Council to assess code of conduct |

Council to assess code of conduct

City officials are barred from accepting any gifts, favors or promises that could compromise their judgment under a new code of conduct being considered by the Nevada City council.

Despite the proposed code, violators face no specific consequences.

However, the City Council can consider censuring a Nevada City official or taking legal action against that person despite the resolution’s lack of punishment, city leaders said.

“It’s really just saying, ‘behave yourself,'” said Councilwoman Sheila Stein, who proposed the resolution slated for Wednesday night’s city council meeting.

The resolution has 18 general rules to follow, including one that forbids elected officials and city staff from accepting gifts or favors.

And no mouthing off in the meetings.

City officials “shall refrain from abusive conduct, personal charges or verbal attacks upon the character or motives of other members of the council and Planning Commission, the staff or the public,” the code reads.

Decisions should be based on “merits and substance of the matter at hand, rather than unrelated concerns,” the resolution states.

The code of conduct was prompted by the city leaders’ desire to modernize operations, Stein said.

She reviewed codes of conduct from Palo Alto, Fairfield, Watsonville and Grass Valley, she said.

“This is nothing new,” said City Manager Mark Miller. ” We all know this from our ethics training.”

Miller commended Stein’s efforts in drafting the code of conduct and said it was on Wednesday’s agenda, thanks to her “good efforts.”

In other business, the city plans to begin spending its sales tax funds on road and sidewalk repair. More than 80 percent of voters passed the half-cent sales tax in November.

More than $1 million in street improvements for fiscal year 2007-08 have been outlined by City Engineer William Falconi.

Some of the improvements include Alexander Street from Main to Coyote Street, American Hill Road from Bennett Street to the city limits, and Lower Jordan Street from Zion Street to the sewer plant.

Collection of the sales tax money began April 1 with a sunset in 16 years. The tax is projected to bring in $7.2 million during its life span.

The Nevada City Council meets at 7 p.m. on Wednesday at Nevada City Hall, 317 Broad St.


To contact Staff Writer Greg Moberly, e-mail or call 477-4234.

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