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Agenda Topic: Gifts and Travel Policy & Ethics Handbook

From: domainremoved <Lynne>
Date: Thu, 14 Jun 2018 11:10:51 -0700

Dear Mayor Ohtaki,

Council members Rich Cline and Ray Mueller have recently requested that the
City Council consider clear guidelines regarding the City Council travel
policy. Based on the most recent article in the *Almanac*, this discussion
seems overdue and George Fisher's questions deserve a formal answer.

We need clarity on the legal issues involved in accepting financial gifts
pertaining to travel. We need guidelines regarding missing Council meetings
for personal travel. We also need guidelines regarding personal conduct
that could appear to represent Menlo Park, while on non-official business.

We also need to clarify the use of authorizing the use of City resources
for non-City purposes.

I'm told that our City used to have an Ethics Commission. Now might be a
timely moment to consider re-establishing one. A council-appointed advisory
group would minimize staff effort involved in preparing an ethics manual
such as the one the LA Ethics Commission
<https://ethics.lacity.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/City_Officials_Handbook.pdf>
prepared. I think we need this type of explicit document in Menlo Park that
also applies to staff. The entire focus of the LA document is to have
explicit guidelines to preserve the public's trust.

In addition to Council members Cline and Mueller's request, would you also
consider discussing establishing an Ethics Commission in Menlo Park? A
Council appointed advisory committee could be tasked with preparing an
ethics handbook for MP City officials and staff. One is needed.

Lynne Bramlett
Received on Thu Jun 14 2018 - 11:11:29 PDT

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