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Thread: Code of conduct for board members

  1. #1
    Super Moderator luckless pedestrian's avatar
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    Code of conduct for board members

    Not sure where this goes - but I am working with Councilors to come up with a Code of Conduct that is basically a list of kindergarten rules about politeness - but is also a mechanism for what to do when a Board member is cutting up -

    does anyone have anything to this effect in their cities/towns/counties that affects the behavior of regulatory Board members?

    links or documents would be great!

    thanks!

  2. #2
    Cyburbian
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    After getting ripped apart by one of our more outspoken and anti-planning planning board members the other night, i'm pretty interested in this as well.. good luck. We've got nothing, and it's effects are obvious. Basic courtesies and politeness would be nice.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Plus JNA's avatar
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    From my fair city -

    BOARD OF ZONING APPEALS
    RULES OF PROCEDURE

    ARTICLE VII. Conduct of Hearings (page 9 of 12)
    H. Discourtesy, disorderly or contemptuous conduct shall be regarded as a breach of the privileges of the Board and shall be dealt with as the Board directs.
    same language is in the variance and special use application packet:
    http://www.evansvilleapc.com/packets.html
    Oddball
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  4. #4
    Forums Administrator & Gallery Moderator NHPlanner's avatar
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    Hmmm...should I reply here or to the NNECAPA listserv?

    In a previous job I put together a pamphlet that had this in it for the ZBA:

    Rules and Tips for Speaking Before the Board:
    • When the Chair opens the floor to public hearing, raise your hand if you have a comment to express to the Board.
    • State your name, address, and, if applicable, who you are representing.
    • Walk to the table in front of the chamber and speak loud enough so that you are clearly heard throughout the chamber.
    • Address the Board at all times, not the applicant, public, or the City Planner.
    • Try not to repeat previous testimony. Simply state that you agree or disagree with the preceding speaker.
    • Be factual. Rely on personal experience and not hearsay.
    • Please refrain from making personal attacks.
    • Try to limit your remarks to 3 to 5 minutes.
    • Respect all speakers regardless of whether or not you agree with them.
    • Simply say “thank you” when you are done with your comments or presentation.
    • Jeering, boo’s, and applause will likely only work against your position.
    "Growth is inevitable and desirable, but destruction of community character is not. The question is not whether your part of the world is going to change. The question is how." -- Edward T. McMahon, The Conservation Fund

  5. #5
    Super Moderator luckless pedestrian's avatar
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    our neighbor in Nashua sent me this:

    Here's Nashua, NH -

    NASHUA REVISED ORDINANCES;


    Sec. 2-55. Code of conduct.
    (a) Members shall treat each other with respect and courtesy and as equals entitled to the same rights.
    (b) In order to best serve the citizens of Nashua, members must provide assistance and support to one another, and work together to accomplish their common goals.
    (c) Debate is an essential feature of democratic government and, as such, requires clarity and honesty on the part of each speaker and attentiveness on the part of all members.
    (d) Indecent, vulgar or disorderly language is always inappropriate and demeans the entire board.
    (e) While it is always proper to question or condemn the nature or consequences of a proposed measure, it is never proper to question the motives or good faith of that measure's proponents or opponents.
    (f) Each member is responsible for the behavior of his or her fellow members, since inappropriate behavior which goes unchallenged reflects badly on the entire board.
    (g) Members shall address his or her colleague by title followed by surname or title and the district/ward he or she represents.
    (h) Members of the public attending or participating at meetings and hearings shall be treated with respect and courtesy in accordance with this section.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally posted by JNA View post
    From my fair city -

    BOARD OF ZONING APPEALS
    RULES OF PROCEDURE

    ARTICLE VII. Conduct of Hearings (page 9 of 12)

    same language is in the variance and special use application packet:
    http://www.evansvilleapc.com/packets.html
    Like JNA, we have rules of procedure that covers this for both plan commission and board of zoning appeals. Pmail me if you additional help.
    When did I go from Luke Skywalker to Obi-Wan Kenobi?

  7. #7
    Cyburbian Richmond Jake's avatar
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    No written rules in my jurisdiction. Hearings are generally based on Robert's Rules...here we call them "Chairperson's Rules."

  8. #8
    Cyburbian Streck's avatar
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    One of the original poster's questions was "What to do when a Board member is cutting up?"

    I have found that a gentle tapping of the gavel restores decorum. Sometimes it is necessary to continue tapping gradually getting louder until the Chairman has the attention of all, then reminds everyone that we must get back to the legalities of the issue at hand so we can expedite the matter as a courtesy to the public in attendance. (or words to that effect)

    Also, any Member may interupt the proceedings as a Point of Order by requesting the Chairman restore order in order to move the matter along. Many times the Chairman would appreciate the support of Members at times such as this.

    Hope this is helpful.

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