Council needs a code of ethics, candidate says

Jerry Gautreau
For the County News Online
(Editor’s note): Four Rocky View County councillors (Margaret Bahcheli, Liz Breakey, Kim Magnuson and Al Sacuta) have signed a draft Code of Ethics on which the late Deputy Reeve Rick Butler had started working before dying in a ski accident in December 2011. Five other councillors (Reeve Rolly Ashdown, Greg Boehlke, Lois Habberfield, Earl Solberg and Deputy Reeve Paul McLean) have declined to sign the code. The draft Code of Ethics, which has not been brought to Council for adoption, can be seen at http://dearrockyview.ca/RV_Ethic.html

Is a code of ethics for Rocky View something that I would sign? Absolutely. I would want everyone to know that I am committed to represent the constituents with integrity, accountability, and respect. I would want everyone to know that I will consider the public interest before everything else. I will support transparency in County business, so that we can all work together and do what is best for this community. As a Councillor, I will support Council’s adoption of a code of ethics.

Jerry Gautreau

Jerry Gautreau

The code of ethics is a set of guidelines designed to set out acceptable behaviour for a particular group, association, or profession. A code of ethics can increase the confidence in an organization by showing outsiders that members are committed to following ethical principles when doing their work. The importance of a code of ethics is to reinforce morals and show what an organization stands for by spelling out standards of behaviour that are clear to everyone.

A code of ethics will reinforce that an organization will uphold ethical principles in everything that is said or done. Integrity means honesty and adherence to moral principles. A code of ethics must command transparency, ensuring nothing that the public knows how business is conducted by their municipal government. That will contribute to building trust and a better relationship among the community, peers and colleagues.

A code of ethics will mandate respect and accountability, ensuring members take responsibility for actions, take ownership, and be liable for what they promise. The code will also promote consideration for the community, peers, and colleagues.

Last but not least: a code will also mandate that members put the public good at the forefront, consider people first and refrain from abusing their authority. That will create a climate in which electors can trust politicians have at least abide by a code mandating them to do what’s best for them.

Jerry Gautreau is a candidate in Division 5, encompassing parts of east Rocky View, Conrich and Dalroy