Bickering City Council Can’t Agree on Politeness Policy

Monday, July 23, 2012

How rude!

Meniffee City Council members thought they had finally found something they could agree on: a proposed politeness policy called the “Social Contract” that would at least mitigate the squabbling ever present since incorporation in 2008 as Riverside County’s 26th city.

A month before they had ordered staff to draft a contract that would bind the members to civil conduct. The staff brought back a document that implored the council to avoid  public displays of bad behavior and recommended that if things start to get personal, take it to a back room and work things out privately.

That seemed reasonable to some, but not to others. One councilman argued that a little arguing was a good thing. Another expressed a fear that the contract was going to be used as “weapon against one of us.”  The mayor objected to some of the terminology.

A vote was called for, but the motion died for lack of a second.

The meeting wasn’t totally uneventful. A new housing plan was brought up for a vote, one that the state mandates be done every five to eight years.  It passed 3-2, but not without debate.

One councilmember likened it to the kind of five-year plans that communist dictator Joseph Stalin used to impose on the Soviet Union in the bad old days.

–Ken Broder


To Learn More:

Politeness Policy Dies Amid City Council Bickering (Associated Press)

Council Rejects Politeness Policy (by Peter Surowski, Riverside Press-Enterprise)

New Housing Plan Compared to Soviet-Era Practice (by Peter Surowski, Riverside Press-Enterprise)

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