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  City Council to Consider Butt Censure
October 2, 2004

Item O-4 on the October 5, 2004, City Council agenda is a proposed resolution censuring me for allegedly violating the “Councilmember’s Code of Conduct,” specifically the part that says “…to treat my colleagues, citizens, and City Staff with dignity and respect.”

Under City council rules, an agenda item lists the person who asked for it to be placed on the agenda. In this case, it just said “City Council,” meaning that no individual City Council member had the fortitude to step forward as the author.

The resolution refers to a TOM BUTT E-FORUM Acting City Attorney Wreaks Vengeance on Butt, September 27, 2004, which, according to the proposed censure resolution, “contained information which was erroneous.”

I have invited those staff members mentioned in the subject E-FORUM, or anyone else, to respond with whatever specific inaccuracies they believe existed, and I would publish them. I even stated that if I had made a factual mistake, I would correct it. At this time, I have received no response from those allegedly maligned or from anybody.

The “Councilmember’s Code of Conduct” was passed by the City Council on January 7, 2003, on a 5-2-2 vote, hardly an overwhelming endorsement. Butt and Rogers voted “no,” and Bates and Griffin abstained. I cannot speak for the others, but my sense was that the Code of Conduct was construed principally as an effort by the mayor to consolidate her power to control debate and to discourage criticism. I believe that is why nearly half the Council failed to support it.

My colleagues might want to prepare for next week’s meeting by reviewing John 8.7 and the admonition for those who are without sin to cast the first stone. If anyone believes that the City Council has consistently honored the Code by “carrying out the business of the City in an orderly and efficient manner,” treating their colleagues and citizens with “dignity and respect,” and “instilling public confidence and integrity in the process of City Government,” they must have been at some other city’s council meeting.