The Boston City Council today unanimously approved a measure that calls on councilors to stop bullying subordinates, especially ones who work for other councilors.
But the measure, which also bans council employees from acting as bullies, contains no specific mechanism for enforcement against councilors. People with complaints about abusive councilors could complain to the City Council President, who would then decide what to do.
Lead sponsor - and current council president - Ed Flynn (South Boston, South End, Chinatown, downtown) acknowledged the lack of enforcement against councilors themselves - any toughs on their staffs could be fired - but said he hopes the measure will become a framework for future councils to deal with. He said that in an August meeting, councilors worried about the distinction between bullying and robust public discourse by elected officials.
Flynn first proposed the measure in May.
The measure does contain a long list of bullying activities, from name calling and screaming to physically attacking someone to giving them the finger or excluding them from work or other groups. It also has an out for somebody having a bad day - somebody who engages in one of the activities just once is not considered a bully.