Leesburg Council Passes on Code of Performance

Although they made it a goal of their January retreat, Leesburg Town Council members have shelved plans to create a formal council code of performance.

It was but a month ago that council members solidified their post-retreat action plan, and the idea of creating a code of performance commanded the most attention, and controversy. Those in favor of its creation said there needed to be a stated list of acceptable, and unacceptable, behaviors for Town Council members, particularly in the area of discourse with each other. Those against said it was an attempt to legislate behavior and stifle g opinions that others didn’t agree with.

During the council’s Monday night work session, it appeared those originally in favor of the code of performance had cooled to the idea. Vice Mayor Suzanne Fox said she believed the council’s current Code of Ethics, adopted in 2009, was sufficient to address any council member infractions. This Code of Ethics includes guidelines on closed sessions, council members conducting business meetings, and more.

Regulating “decorum or conduct [in a code of performance] I feel like is dangerously subjective,” she said. “It doesn’t really have any teeth to me.”

“So many other localities do have a code of conduct,” Mayor Kelly Burk pointed out, “but I wouldn’t be interested in the enforcement aspect of it. I saw it as an aspirational document that could remind us of what we should be doing.”

Councilman Marty Martinez, who in the past has criticized some of the council’s dialogue as lacking in civility, said he believed the council may already be moving in the right direction, even without a formal code of performance.

“I think lately we’ve been progressing and hopefully will continue to do so,” he said.

krodriguez@loudounnow.com

2 thoughts on “Leesburg Council Passes on Code of Performance

  • 2017-07-26 at 3:11 pm
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    Over the years Martinez has been the worst when it comes to a lack of civility. In walks Campbell and all he does at every meeting is criticize Council for every action it has ever taken. Sounds like those seeking a code to live by were the ones most in need of it. Burk was most in favor of this because she is completely lacking in leadership.

  • 2017-07-27 at 6:21 am
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    I have personally watched Martinez roll his eyes as citizens have shared opinions that do not jive with his or citizens who have been nominated or called on to be on a commission and he scowls with disdain. When I have seen these actions in person and on TV I should have called him out for it. This old timer needs to finish his long and endless career as Council Member as he needs to recognize his own poor behavior and his very thin tolerance for those that have differing points of view should be embraced as an opportunity and not as a divisive moment the likes of national politics today. Martinez, take a deep look at your own actions. Watch years worth of Town Council meetings where your behavior was out of line and maybe you will realize that it might be time to move on to other forms of public service. You came close to losing last election and there is a crop of young talent ready to snatch away your tired seat. I look forward to that day but do wish you much success in the future.

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