An unproven allegation of sexual assault against a Madison alderman almost two years ago inspired proposals for new rules for behavior and discipline, but the City Council was unable to agree on specifics and last week dropped the issue.

Council members said finding a way to create and enforce a new code of conduct was elusive, but that a new job description approved last fall will help while relying on existing state law and public oversight at the ballot box.

"I think it's all of it together," council President Shiva Bidar-Sielaff said.

But Ald. Lauren Cnare, 3rd District, who was president when the alleged assault against a city clerk's office employee came to light, said the council should have produced a code of conduct, even if an enforcement mechanism couldn't be agreed on.

"We could have come up with a set of guidelines that would have helped people behave in situations that are sort of gray," Cnare said.

The council, which spent months considering options, on Tuesday quietly abandoned the final proposals under consideration. One would have let the council adopt rules of conduct for members, and the other applied rules that now cover other city employees on workplace violence, conduct, nepotism, harassment and discrimination and appropriate use of city computers.

The big sticking point, members agreed, was identifying someone who could fill the role of supervisor for council members.

The proposal before the council would have given that role to the council president, but members felt the president in most ways is one of 20 peers and that such an increase in authority might have political ramifications.

"That's just not going to work," said Ald. Sue Ellingson, 13th District, who had suggested a code of conduct with no enforcement. She said she is satisfied with the outcome.

The council's organizational committee unanimously recommended to kill the proposals, and the full council did so without discussion last week.

Council President Pro Tem Chris Schmidt said the job description approved Oct. 16 will help.

The description, which centers on the role of a member, skills needed, training and best practices, says members should follow ethics rules and other applicable standards of conduct but doesn't list standards.

The council has authority under state law to take actions such as censure or removal, but such an action would usually follow an extraordinary action that was "black and white," Bidar-Sielaff said.

The council recognized gaps in behavior rules and discipline after assistant city clerk Elena Berg alleged she was sexually assaulted by Ald. Brian Solomon, 10th District. The alleged assault, which Solomon has strongly denied, came after staff and council members went out drinking after a council meeting on April 13, 2010.

The Dane County District Attorney's Office said it believed Berg but decided not to pursue a case based on whether a jury would agree that she did not consent. Madison's Department of Civil Rights office didn't find proof Solomon assaulted Berg and couldn't judge the merits of the allegation.

But the department questioned the appropriateness of council members socializing with clerk's office staff, who are responsible for elections, and recommended the council adopt policy on personal relationships with city employees.

Cnare believes the discussion is over — for now. "I think it's over until something happens again," she said.

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(10) comments

epic
epic

It was my understanding that the woman in question was either raped or sexually assaulted. She woke up with no clothing on. I think this goes well beyond being "sexually harassed." Of course he does look like a chick magnet.

dakref
dakref

Hey corney, why don't you just move to Mississippi.

number6
number6

Hey Cornelius -- Let's say I pay my landlord a thousand bucks a month. She uses $600 for mortgage, insurance, and upkeep, $300 for property taxes, and puts $100 in her pocket. Would you say I am paying property taxes, or not? Thanks.

Cornelius Gotchberg
Cornelius Gotchberg

@number6;

No, I would not say you're paying property taxes as I would say that if you purchase a bus pass you're not paying a gasoline tax.

I would say that your rent payment reflects the fact that your landlord has to pay them.

@dakref;

Ohhh! That's what you call a 'zinger,' right?

I've never been to MS, though I suspect that were YOU ever to leave WI, our state's average I.Q. would skyrocket. And if you did, you'd want to be sure all your high quality/quantity free stuff would be forwarded.

I, myself, would feel terrible if your lifestyle were to be compromised just because you left.

The Gotch

john q public
john q public

The only thing they can ever agree on is how to waste more of our tax money.

Norwood44
Norwood44

Government employees eschew accountability. But they love imposing it on others.

jammon
jammon

Hard to believe that such an august body, internationally infamous for telling everyone everywhere exactly what they should do every single second of their lives, cannot fathom how to pen a code of conduct that will keep their members from drunkenly assaulting their constituents.

Cornelius Gotchberg
Cornelius Gotchberg


What a relief! Now the Commonsenseless Council can concern itself with the REAL important stuff! Like:

*trolleys,Trolleys, TROLLEYS!!!!!!!!!!
*More BIKIE TRAIL/PATH/LANE/BOULEVARD/BRIDGE infrastructure
*Create a Spandex/Tofu Exchange alongside the Public Market Initiative
*Continue to waste money on feasability studies for Light Rail
*Cram through Inclusionary zoning
*Permanent housing for Occubaggers
*Policies to make Madistan even MORE attractive to the homeless & career dependents
*Policies to further hamstring local businesses that are unilaterally unacceptable to the 'WE KNOW WHAT'S BEST FOR YOU crowd
*Provide better free transportation/accomodations for the capital square singalongers
*Include free dinners along with the already free breakfasts & lunches for schoolchildren further removing any and all parental responsibility
*Continue to demonize everyone but those responsible for poor student performance
*Push 4-year-old kindergarten to employ more teachers and get to young impressionable tykes with Lefty principles even earlier
*Establish a free (paid by propery taxpayers) 'homespun & birkenstocks' initiative
*Encourage gang activity by continuing to tell the bangers it's just not their fault
*Continue to label those that see their neighborhoods succumbing to crime and drug activity as RACISTS!!!
*Make handwringing & suffocating Lefty guilt mandatory (scratch that; it already is!)
*Make the 'Ride the Drive' and 'Naked Bicycle Ride' paid holidays for ALL Lefties.
*Enact measures to increase the property tax burden of the already fewer than 50 % of Madison property-owners that pay them
*Fight any and all efforts to encourage *transparency* in their dealings (if it's good enough for the CHOSEN ONE, it's good enough for the CC!)
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/03/31/obama-accepts-transparenc_n_843195.html
*Fight to get the positively brilliant 'Edible Landscapes' initiative back to the forefront

And my personal favorite:

*Get moving on that 'Commonsensense Council Members of Madistan *Clothng Optional* Calender,' the proceeds from which will bankroll an effort to pay for the removal of BIKIE seat 'keester residue' accumulation resulting from the 'Naked Bicycle Ride!'

The Gotch



|




What a relief! Now the Commonsenseless Council can concern itself with the REAL important stuff! Like:

*trolleys,Trolleys, TROLLEYS!!!!!!!!!!
*More BIKIE TRAIL/PATH/LANE/BOULEVARD/BRIDGE infrastructure
*Create a Spandex/Tofu Exchange alongside the Public Market Initiative
*Continue to waste money on feasability studies for Light Rail
*Cram through Inclusionary zoning
*Permanent housing for Occubaggers
*Policies to make Madistan even MORE attractive to the homeless & career dependents
*Policies to further hamstring local businesses that are unilaterally unacceptable to the 'WE KNOW WHAT'S BEST FOR YOU crowd
*Provide better free transportation/accomodations for the capital square singalongers
*Include free dinners along with the already free breakfasts & lunches for schoolchildren further removing any and all parental responsibility
*Continue to demonize everyone but those responsible for poor student performance
*Push 4-year-old kindergarten to employ more teachers and get to young impressionable tykes with Lefty principles even earlier
*Establish a free (paid by propery taxpayers) 'homespun & birkenstocks' initiative
*Encourage gang activity by continuing to tell the bangers it's just not their fault
*Continue to label those that see their neighborhoods succumbing to crime and drug activity as RACISTS!!!
*Make handwringing & suffocating Lefty guilt mandatory (scratch that; it already is!)
*Make the 'Ride the Drive' and 'Naked Bicycle Ride' paid holidays for ALL Lefties.
*Enact measures to increase the property tax burden of the already fewer than 50 % of Madison property-owners that pay them
*Fight any and all efforts to encourage *transparency* in their dealings (if it's good enough for the CHOSEN ONE, it's good enough for the CC!)
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/03/31/obama-accepts-transparenc_n_843195.html
*Fight to get the positively brilliant 'Edible Landscapes' initiative back to the forefront

And my personal favorite:

*Get moving on that 'Commonsensense Council Members of Madistan *Clothng Optional* Calender,' the proceeds from which will bankroll an effort to pay for the removal of BIKIE seat 'keester residue' accumulation resulting from the 'Naked Bicycle Ride!'

The Gotch


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What a relief! Now the Commonsenseless Council can concern itself with the REAL important stuff! Like:

*trolleys,Trolleys, TROLLEYS!!!!!!!!!!
*More BIKIE TRAIL/PATH/LANE/BOULEVARD/BRIDGE infrastructure
*Create a Spandex/Tofu Exchange alongside the Public Market Initiative
*Continue to waste money on feasability studies for Light Rail
*Cram through Inclusionary zoning
*Permanent housing for Occubaggers
*Policies to make Madistan even MORE attractive to the homeless & career dependents
*Policies to further hamstring local businesses that are unilaterally unacceptable to the 'WE KNOW WHAT'S BEST FOR YOU crowd
*Provide better free transportation/accomodations for the capital square singalongers
*Include free dinners along with the already free breakfasts & lunches for schoolchildren further removing any and all parental responsibility
*Continue to demonize everyone but those responsible for poor student performance
*Push 4-year-old kindergarten to employ more teachers and get to young impressionable tykes with Lefty principles even earlier
*Establish a free (paid by propery taxpayers) 'homespun & birkenstocks' initiative
*Encourage gang activity by continuing to tell the bangers it's just not their fault
*Continue to label those that see their neighborhoods succumbing to crime and drug activity as RACISTS!!!
*Make handwringing & suffocating Lefty guilt mandatory (scratch that; it already is!)
*Make the 'Ride the Drive' and 'Naked Bicycle Ride' paid holidays for ALL Lefties.
*Enact measures to increase the property tax burden of the already fewer than 50 % of Madison property-owners that pay them
*Fight any and all efforts to encourage *transparency* in their dealings (if it's good enough for the CHOSEN ONE, it's good enough for the CC!)
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/03/31/obama-accepts-transparenc_n_843195.html
*Fight to get the positively brilliant 'Edible Landscapes' initiative back to the forefront

And my personal favorite:

*Get moving on that 'Commonsensense Council Members of Madistan *Clothng Optional* Calender,' the proceeds from which will bankroll an effort to pay for the removal of BIKIE seat 'keester residue' accumulation resulting from the 'Naked Bicycle Ride!'

The Gotch


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What a relief! Now the Commonsenseless Council can concern itself with the REAL important stuff! Like:

*trolleys,Trolleys, TROLLEYS!!!!!!!!!!
*More BIKIE TRAIL/PATH/LANE/BOULEVARD/BRIDGE infrastructure
*Create a Spandex/Tofu Exchange alongside the Public Market Initiative
*Continue to waste money on feasability studies for Light Rail
*Cram through Inclusionary zoning
*Permanent housing for Occubaggers
*Policies to make Madistan even MORE attractive to the homeless & career dependents
*Policies to further hamstring local businesses that are unilaterally unacceptable to the 'WE KNOW WHAT'S BEST FOR YOU crowd
*Provide better free transportation/accomodations for the capital square singalongers
*Include free dinners along with the already free breakfasts & lunches for schoolchildren further removing any and all parental responsibility
*Continue to demonize everyone but those responsible for poor student performance
*Push 4-year-old kindergarten to employ more teachers and get to young impressionable tykes with Lefty principles even earlier
*Establish a free (paid by propery taxpayers) 'homespun & birkenstocks' initiative
*Encourage gang activity by continuing to tell the bangers it's just not their fault
*Continue to label those that see their neighborhoods succumbing to crime and drug activity as RACISTS!!!
*Make handwringing & suffocating Lefty guilt mandatory (scratch that; it already is!)
*Make the 'Ride the Drive' and 'Naked Bicycle Ride' paid holidays for ALL Lefties.
*Enact measures to increase the property tax burden of the already fewer than 50 % of Madison property-owners that pay them
*Fight any and all efforts to encourage *transparency* in their dealings (if it's good enough for the CHOSEN ONE, it's good enough for the CC!)
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/03/31/obama-accepts-transparenc_n_843195.html
*Fight to get the positively brilliant 'Edible Landscapes' initiative back to the forefront

And my personal favorite:

*Get moving on that 'Commonsensense Council Members of Madistan *Clothng Optional* Calender,' the proceeds from which will bankroll an effort to pay for the removal of BIKIE seat 'keester residue' accumulation resulting from the 'Naked Bicycle Ride!'

The Gotch


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Cornelius Gotchberg
Cornelius Gotchberg

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

The Gotch

Lynne4300
Lynne4300

"I think it's over until something happens again,"

Seriously?

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