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Port Commission Policies / Procedures

Code of Ethics Policy

The Santa Cruz Port District Commission is committed to providing excellence in legislative leadership that results in the provision of the highest quality services to the Port District, its constituents, users, and the general public.  In order to assist in the governance of the behavior between and among members of the Port Commission, the following rules shall be observed.

  • The dignity, style, values, and opinions of each Commissioner shall be respected.
  • Responsiveness and attentive listening in communication is encouraged.
  • The needs of the Port District, its constituents, users, and the general public shall be the priority of the Port Commission.
  • The primary responsibility of the Port Commission is the formulation and evaluation of policy.  Routine matters concerning the operational aspects of the District are handled by District staff.
  • Commissioners should commit themselves to emphasizing the positive, avoiding negative forms of interaction.
  • Commissioners should commit themselves to focusing on issues and not personalities.  The presentation of the opinions of others should be encouraged.  Cliques and voting blocks based on personalities rather than issues should be avoided.
  • Differing viewpoints are healthy in the decision-making process.  Individuals have the right to disagree with ideas and opinions, but without being disagreeable.  Once the Commission takes action, Commissioners should commit to supporting said action and not to create barriers to the implementation of said action.

Commissioners should practice the following procedures:

  • In seeking clarification on informational items, Commissioners may directly approach appropriate staff member(s) to obtain information needed to supplement, upgrade, or enhance their knowledge to improve legislative decision-making.
  • Commissioners shall refer complaints which require further resolution directly to the Port Director.
  • In handling items related to safety, concerns for safety or hazards shall be reported to the Port Director or harbor office.  Emergency situations shall be dealt with immediately by seeking appropriate assistance.
  • In presenting items for discussion at Commission meetings (see Policy #3020).
  • In seeking clarification for policy-related concerns, especially those involving  legal action, land acquisition and development, finances, and programming, said concerns should be referred directly to the Port Director.

When approached by harbor staff concerning specific District policy or personnel matters, Commissioners shall direct inquiries to the appropriate staff supervisor, pursuant to and in accordance with the approved Personnel Policies Handbook and Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).  The chain of command should be followed.

The work of the District is a team effort.  All individuals should work together in the collaborative process, assisting each other in conducting the affairs of the District.

When responding to constituent requests and concerns, Commissioners should be courteous, responding to individuals in a positive manner and routing their questions through appropriate channels and to responsible management personnel.

Commissioners should develop a working relationship with the Port Director wherein current issues, concerns, and District projects can be discussed openly.

Commissioners function as a part of the whole and have power as a body – Commissioners do not have any individual power in District matters. Issues which are the purview of the full Commission should be handled by the Commission as a whole, rather than by individual members, to ensure the decision-making process is public. This does not limit individual Commissioners from meeting with and discussing matters with their constituents.