A Salt Lake City employee on temporary leave because a city ordinance prohibits him from campaigning for the state Legislature while serving the city will be the subject of a City Council meeting Tuesday.
City planner Cris Shulz, a Republican candidate for House District 22, petitioned the city to amend its Political Activity Ordinance that prevents a city employee from serving in the state Legislature.The amendment also prohibits city employees from working after primary elections until general elections in November, forcing Shulz to take temporary leave.
On Tuesday, the council will consider an amendment to the ordinance that would permit city employees to run for and hold a state legislative office or political party office.
Shulz said he included language in the amendment regarding party offices at the behest of Assistant City Attorney Bruce Baird, who Shulz said is contemplating running for state Democratic chairman.
"Some people have asked me to think about it," Baird said, adding that he has not decided if he will run.
At a council session Thursday, Shulz pointed out that no government in the metropolitan Salt Lake County area prohibits its employees from seeking office in the state Legislature.
Councilman Wayne Horrocks said the ordinance excluded city employees from the democratic process.
"I feel a lot of the time government entities make their employees into second-class citizens," he said.
Shulz said he petitioned the council to amend the ordinance in July, hoping to take care of the matter by the primary season so he would not have to leave work.
The council will meet at 6 p.m. in council chambers on the third floor of City Hall at 324 S. State.