Code of conducted voted down

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

After a 3-2 vote in favor of a motion by Councilman Phil Lyons to strip all but one sentence from a proposed Code of Conduct for the McCook City Council, the council voted it down altogether, 4-1 .

During discussion, Lyons moved to delete the entire document with the exclusion of one sentence: "Council members' conduct should be characterized at all times by personal courtesy and professional integrity in the fullest sense of the term."

"The rest is just a statement," Lyons argued.

"The council has set the rules for this body by accepting Robert's Rule of Order," he told his fellow council members.

"If there's someone out of order, you pick up the gavel and gavel 'em down," he told Mayer Dennis Berry.

"If we're not capable of keeping order with the rules we have then this is going to fail."

Councilman Bill Longnecker argued that the resolution was simply a condensed version of the Rules of Order. "If people have a problem with this it's because they want to break the rules," he told the council. "I am a moral person ... I don't have a problem with signing it."

With that comment, Lyons bristled, reminding Longnecker that each council member had a right to his opinion.

There will always be disagreement -- and sometimes heated arguments -- in politics, he argued. "That's the nature of politics. Politics is a contact sport."

Following a request by city staff, Councilmen Jim Kenny and Bill Longnecker, abstained from presenting the staff with a wish list for the upcoming 2005-06 budget. Kenny told City Manager John Bingham the city was facing enough expenses without adding new equipment and programs.

The council also approved a resolution allowing for the issuance of $3.8 million in bonds to be used for the city's wastewater treatment facility and $400,000 for the purchase of land for the city's new fresh water treatment plant system.

The resolution opens the door for the council to begin receiving State Revolving Loan Funds.

In other action, the council:

* Authorized the McCook Fire Department to submit a FEMA/USFA Fire Act grant to purchase a new fire department ladder truck.

* Approved a proclamation designating the month of April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month and Child Abuse Prevention Month.

* Approved an ordinance authorizing the conveyance of a temporary easement for the McCook Public Power District at the McCook Airport under suspension of the three-reading rule.

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