Rules of Decorum and Civility Policy
Mayor Proposes a Rules of Decorum and Civility Policy
Laguna Beach, CA – As a commitment to conducting the public’s business in an atmosphere of respect and civility, while implementing good governance practices and promoting transparency, the Laguna Beach City Council will consider a Rules of Decorum and Civility Policy at its upcoming regular meeting on Tuesday, September 17.
“The proposed policy is intended to provide guidelines to ensure that an appropriate forum is provided for civil debate, discussion, exchanges, collaboration, and ultimately decisions on local governmental matters,” said Laguna Beach Mayor Bob Whalen. “We welcome the passionate exchange of views between the public and City Officials, as long the exchange is undertaken respectfully.”City of Laguna Beach, September 12, 2019 Media Release
Mayor Whalen and members of the City Council recognize the importance of providing a forum where the public is comfortable expressing their views and opinions in a respectful and civil manner. If implemented, the policy will establish the level of decorum and civility expected of City officials and the public in all official City correspondence and communications, including conduct at public meetings of the City Council, Boards, Commissions, and Committees. The policy proposes various remedies for failure to comply, such as reprimands and censure for City officials, removal from office of appointed officials and, if necessary, removal from public meetings if needed to maintain order.
“It is my sincere hope that with the standards of conduct spelled out in the policy these remedies will not be needed, but they will be implemented if required to ensure respectful forums for all to participate in public discourse,” Whalen said.
The proposed policy promotes mutual respect, civility and orderly conduct among elected and appointed City officials, City Staff, and members of the public and is not intended to deprive any person of his or her right to freedom of speech or expression. The City Council encourages positive communication and seeks public cooperation with this endeavor.
“We’re spending too much time attacking one another and not enough time resolving our broader issues and challenges,” Whalen said. “As a City Council, we will do our part to create an environment where no member of the public feels intimidated or disrespected and that allows for open and honest discourse undertaken with kindness and respect.”