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(a) The Mayor and members of City Council shall:
(1) Regularly attend all scheduled meetings of the City Council as well as special or called meetings relevant to the office.
(2) Maintain courtesy and consideration toward fellow Council members, citizens and staff during all discussions and deliberations.
(3) Allow citizens, colleagues and staff sufficient opportunity to present their view, within the prescribed format and rules of conduct for meetings of the City Council.
(4) No person shall recklessly cause inconvenience, annoyance, or alarm to another by doing any of the following:
A. Engaging in fighting, in threatening harm to persons or property, or in violent or turbulent behavior;
B. Making unreasonable noise or an offensively coarse utterance, gesture, or display or communicating unwarranted and grossly abusive language to any person;
C. Insulting, taunting, or challenging another, under circumstances in which that conduct is likely to provoke a violent response;
D. Hindering or preventing the movement of persons on a public street, road, highway, or right-of-way, or to, from, within, or upon public or private property, so as to interfere with the rights of others, and by any act that serves no lawful and reasonable purpose of the offender;
E. Creating a condition that is physically offensive to persons or that presents a risk of physical harm to persons or property, by any act that serves no lawful and reasonable purpose of the offender.
(5) No person shall knowingly cause another to believe that the offender will cause physical harm to the person or property of the other person, the person's unborn, or a member of the other person's immediate family.
(6) All matters discussed in executive session shall be considered confidential. Any breach of said confidentiality shall be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
(7) Abide by all local, state and federal laws, rules, and other regulations.
(b) Communications between Members of Council and City Administration. Per Section 7.02 , Interference by Council, of the Xenia City Charter, no member of City Council shall in any way interfere with the daily administrative services of any City department or employee by ordering or instructing action to be taken or not taken with respect to the City's daily administrative matters. This prohibition does not apply to a Council member's work with or relationship to boards or commissions or staff representatives assigned to boards or commissions. In addition, this prohibition does not apply to minor requests made of staff members. In the event any Council member violates the provisions of this section, City Council shall be notified and may take corrective action.
(c) Direction and Complaints. The City Charter vests all authority for the direction and control of City administrative employees in the appropriate appointed official, and no member of Council should attempt to direct or control the day-to-day activities of City employees. Suggestions regarding the performance of City employees or recommendations for commendation or discipline should always be directed to the appropriate appointed official. Under no circumstances should members of Council do or say anything that a City employee might interpret as an order to do or refrain from any act in the course and scope of his or her employment. Threats or promises by Council members concerning promotion, reassignment, termination or compensation of employees or their offices or departments are never acceptable except in the context of duly convened meetings of Council or its committees.
(d) Due Process.
(1) Prior to imposing any sanction, Council shall provide due process to the member for whom sanctions will be considered, which shall include a written charge specifying the act or omission of the member which is alleged to violate this Code of Conduct; the date and time of the meeting at which the sanctions will be considered; and an opportunity to be heard at the meeting, in public session, to explain or defend against the charges.
(2) The Law Director or his or her designee, as counsel for the City and Council, shall prepare the formal charge from the information provided by any elector or employee of the City. If the Law Director determines that a charge is legally insufficient or frivolous, he or she may summarily dismiss same and the Law Director's determination shall be final and conclusive. He or she shall be under no duty to refer a dismissed charge to Council.
(3) At any meeting of Council to consider censure, the Law Director or his or her designee shall conduct the examination of the complaining witness and any other witnesses on behalf of Council and the City and cross-examine the accused member and any witnesses presented on his or her behalf.
(4) The accused member shall be entitled to appear and be represented by his or her own legal counsel at his or her own expense and to present witnesses on his or her behalf.
(5) Any meeting concerning the possible censure of a member shall be in open session. The testimony of all witnesses shall be under oath or affirmation. The rules of evidence should be followed to the extent practicable but shall not be strictly applied. A record of the meeting shall be made and maintained in the same manner as regular meetings of Council except, at the option of the Law Director, a court reporter may be engaged at City expense to make a verbatim record.
(1) Council, by motion or resolution by majority vote, may sanction any member who violates this Code of Conduct.
(2) Penalties for violation may include warning against future misconduct, public reprimand or censure, or referral to property authority for further action, including but not limited to, the prosecuting attorney, Ohio Ethics Commission or court having jurisdiction in the matter.
(Ord. 11-62. Passed 11/10/11)