Kfar Saba acts to improve councilors' behavior

Kfar Saba's city council has decided to set up an ethics committee to keep councilors in line after a series of stormy council meetings over the past six months that have seen councilors shouting at each other and exchanging insults, reports www.mynet.co.il. The notoriously tense council meetings hit a new low last week when a furious shouting match took place between Mayor Yehuda Ben Hamo and councilor Yuval Levy, after which the mayor lodged a complaint with police. According to the report, with council meetings becoming increasingly acrimonious in recent months, the city's Green faction proposed setting up the ethics committee to write up a code of behavior for councilors. Faction members said that while municipal employees had to abide by certain rules of behavior and could be brought before managers for disciplinary measures, city councilors were not governed by the same rules and could not be sent to managers to be disciplined. "This reality has led more than once to arguments and to verbal conflicts that have taken place during council meetings, and has spread more than once to the use of expressions that are not appropriate," the faction said in its proposal. It added that an ethics committee of peers would be a deterrent for misbehaving councilors and would reduce the number of fiery meetings and inappropriate language. The report said the council agreed to set up a committee of three councilors to write up a code of ethics and present it to the next council meeting. Meanwhile, Kfar Saba police chief Shai Azoulay confirmed that police had received a complaint from the mayor and were investigating the matter.