Letter to the Editor

Flynn Organizes Trainings on Ethics, Civility, Professionalism

To the Editor,

During his term in leadership at the Council over the last twenty months, Boston City Council President Ed Flynn has organized a series of training sessions with colleagues and staff aimed at encouraging civility and professionalism, as well as abiding by state ethics laws and other regulations.

Most recently, Council President Flynn hosted a Massachusetts State Ethics Training for over two hours on Tuesday, August 8 which covered conflict of interest law, gift restrictions, code of conduct and related ethics issues. On Thursday, August 10, Council President Flynn held a three hour Working Session regarding an Anti-Bullying Policy for City Councilors, Council staff, and Council Central Staff that he previously introduced in May. The Council has also held seven trainings related to the Open Meeting Law and the Public Records Law, along with annual compliance and Massachusetts Commision Against Discrimination (MCAD) training. He has held multiple working sessions with the City Clerk and colleagues to review the Boston City Council Rules adopted by the body.

In addition, Council President Flynn is working closely with Boston City Council Central Staff on researching a Code of Ethics policy to be introduced later this year, along with recommendations around best practices on time off for Council staff. Council President Flynn continues to also engage in discussions with the State Legislative Leaders Foundation on potentially hosting a Civility Training later this year.

Moreover, Council President Flynn has focused on several administrative issues that have arisen this term, including implementation of an updated Executive Garage policy. During these challenging times for the management of meetings in municipal government, with anti-vaccine and other protestors, Council President Flynn has also worked in conjunction with City of Boston Property Management on upgraded security infrastructure at the Council, such as installation of panic buttons, putting a stanchion at reception, and requiring key card access at the Piemonte offices side. 

Council President Flynn assumed leadership of the body during a particularly difficult time in our city and country; navigating the Omicron variant and subsequent transition back to in-person work and Council meetings, a new budget process, a contentious redistricting process that was ultimately sent back by a federal judge, as well as a number of ethical and legal lapses from several Council colleagues. Council President Flynn has spoken at length on several occasions, on both the Council floor as well as via memos to colleagues, on the critical need for civility, professionalism and decorum, and to be available in City Hall to address quality of life and constituent service issues from neighbors.

“My goal as Council President, and for the remainder of my term, will be to continue to work on ensuring that the City Council is focused on conducting the people’s business, and that we have a professional working environment for all,” said Council President Flynn. “While working closely with our dedicated Central Staff, I continue to focus on implementing policies to address the need for civility and respect, and to promote a culture that is inclusive and attracts talent to public service at City Hall, where everyone feels welcome in the workplace without fear of any bullying or harassment.Boston City Council President Ed Flynn

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