It’s been two months since Rosenberg City Council members adopted a code of conduct policy. And Mayor Bill Benton is already considering doing away with it.
At Tuesday’s workshop meeting, council members will discuss modifying, discontinuing, expanding or repealing the decorum policy for elected and appointed officials.
The meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m. at City Hall, located at 2110 Fourth St. The decorum policy was approved by council on April 16. According to city staff, this item was requested by the mayor. City Attorney Grady Randle explained that he was asked to draft a decorum policy by council member Steven DeGregorio in March.
“Do y’all understand this all started with a private conversation I was trying to have with a council member?” council member Isaac Davila asked at a previous council meeting. “It was private, I didn’t try to make it public.”
In February, council member Jacob Balderas said he felt so threatened by Davila that he had to hire private security to protect him at council meetings. Davila admitted he confronted Balderas after the Feb. 5 council meeting, but said he never threatened him or did anything to make the 21-year-old council member fear for his safety.
Balderas said Davila was upset over his motion to defund the nature center and splash pad projects.
“People do have the right to speak,” Benton said. “And if it’s inappropriate, the public will know and they will judge that person.”
Listed are the rules elected and appointed officials are to follow in public meetings: Use formal titles; Practice civility in discussion and debate; Honor the role of the mayor in maintaining order; Avoid personal comments that could offend other officials; and Demonstrate effective problem solving approaches. In private encounters, elected officials must be aware of the insecurity of written notes, voicemail messages, email and social media.
According to the policy, written notes, voicemails, texts, emails and social media posts should be treated as potentially public communication.