Code of conduct referred to lawyer

Sarnia City Hall. (BlackburnNews file photo)

Sarnia council wants a fresh set of eyes to look over its code of conduct.

Committee-of-the-whole, which includes all members, has asked that the city’s external corporate lawyer to review the document.

Councillor Terry Burrell felt it was inappropriate for council to set its own code.

“I just think that the code of conduct is something that should come from the outside, as opposed to us regulating ourselves,” said Burrell.

Burrell wondered if the city should be adopting a code from another community.

“I think it’s kind of being viewed as self serving if we set our own code of conduct and to be honest with you, I’m really surprised the province doesn’t have one for everybody,” he said. “Certainly for the financial conflict of interest, they have set their own codes. So, I’m not sure why, when they’re requiring every municipality to have a code of conduct, why they don’t have a standard set of codes that could be applied to everyone across the province.”

Councillor Brian White agreed.

“I do think we’re at a point now, where we’re starting to play a little of tug-of-war sometimes on verbiage, sometimes on intentions, and even perhaps misunderstanding the intentions of what some of the existing wording is intended for and so I do think that maybe a fresh pair of eyes on this is useful.”

Nearly 30 proposed changes will also be forwarded to the city’s outside legal team — which has been asked to report back in 60 days.