Peter Braithwaite.

City anti-harassment rules would be applied to Evanston council members and other elected and appointed officials under an ordinance to be debated Monday night.

Ald. Peter Braithwaite (2nd) proposed the change, which is on the agenda for the City Council’s Rules Committee.

In a memo to council members, Corporation Counsel Nicholas Cummings says that as it stands now the city’s code of ethics “does not expressly require covered persons, including elected officials, to abide by the city’s anti-harassment policies.”

The city recently amended its personnel manual for employees to strengthen its anti-harassment provisions.

Under the code of ethics violations would be subject to a fine of between $100 and $750 and the council members could also be “disciplined by City Council in accordance with City Council Rules.”

The proposal follows reports of an incident in February in which the interim city manager, Kelley Gandurski, complained to council members about an encounter at her office with Ald. Clare Kelly (1st).

Gandurski said she was “sworn at and yelled at by the council member in the hallway of my office for all staff to hear.”

The Rules Committee Monday night is also scheduled, at Braithwaite’s request, to have discussions about the possible alternative forms of municipal government in Illinois and the role of council members in the city’s managerial form of government.

It will also consider a resolution from Ald. Juan Geracaris (9th) to switch to ranked choice voting for city offices

And it will consider an ordinance proposed by Ald. Devon Reid (8th) to reduce to 6 from 7 the number of votes required — from among the nine alderpersons plus the mayor — to hire or fire the city manager.


Update 6/8/22:

At Monday’s Rules Committee meeting:

  • The measure to bar harassment by council members was tabled until the next Rules Committee meeting after Ald. Clare Kelly (1st) proposed an amendment that other members criticized as being vague.
  • The ranked-choice voting measure was approved 10-0 to advance to the City Council for a final vote.
  • The proposal to reduce the number of votes needed to hire or fire the city manager failed on a 4-6 vote.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

Join the Conversation

2 Comments

  1. Ald. Braithwaite is one of the betters Alders that we have. He’s more of a center/left politician, which is what I like about him. We need more of our local politicians in the center, not the far left or right.

    I hope he runs for Mayor of Evanston one day – would love to have him run our city as he sees fit.

  2. I’m not clear as to why it would it might be inadvisable for alders to be “subjected” to the anti-harassment rules.

Leave a comment
The goal of our comment policy is to make the comments section a vibrant yet civil space. Treat each other with respect — even the people you disagree with. Whenever possible, provide links to credible documentary evidence to back up your factual claims.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *