In this business, communication "around" the city/county manager is inevitable. Managing this is always a balancing act. Err too far on the permissive side, chaos ensues. Crack down too hard, risk alienating both the staff and the elected officials.My general policy is to ask DHs to let me know when they've communicated with electeds. I don't necessarily need to know any details, or even the topic. Knowing communication is occurring is half the battle.Once the policy is established, covert communications become a different issue, i.e., refusing to follow policy. While I appreciate Kevin's approach, I normally try to get the DH onboard via a one-on-one discussion. If the elected official is part of the problem, that's a matter I generally address with the full body in closed session. One of my policies is to have elected officials craft and sign a "gentleperson's agreement" at the beginning of the term. Naturally, in this agreement there are rules about communication... including informing other members about communication with staff and not undermining chain of command. The agreement is a promise elected officials make to one another, and in my experience, an effective tool. Whatever you choose, good luck.