Texting during meeting distracts council, says Hogan

Hogan will introduce anti, pro-texting resolutions

September 16, 2010 at 2:34 pm  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

While the council voted against a Paul Hogan resolution that would have banned texting and surfing the Internet during meetings, Hogan said he is not done with the issue.

Hogan introduced his resolution because he said that texting, e-mailing and “non-subject at hand” computer usage was a distraction to council members who should be focusing on the meeting. He said that using the technology was not only a distraction to the ones doing it, but also for council members who sat next to someone who was.

During a recent meeting, Councilman Dennis Nuss said that technology was God-given and that sometimes he receives texts from his constituents who are unable to make it to the meetings. Nuss also said that if everyone who received a text had to leave the room to answer it, as Hogan proposed, meetings would drag on.

“It was a poor decision to not put the rule in place,” Hogan said of the 6-2 vote against his resolution. “This is something that needs to be addressed.”

Hogan said he will reintroduce his resolution at the next council meeting, along with one that allows texting and “non-subject at hand” Internet usage during meetings.

“We need to know what we can and can’t do,” Hogan said. “Before our meetings, our chairman asks for everyone in the audience to silence or turn off their cell phones. How can we ask people to do that, but then utilize our phones during the meeting?”

Hogan also said that if council members are able to text during meetings, they could contact each other about votes or other subjects.

“All of our discussion has to be out in the open for the people to hear,” he said. “No one should be able to text another council member, or two or three council members, about what’s going on at the meetings.

“If they are able to do that, they are really having a private meeting during what is supposed to be an open public meeting.”

View other articles written Jonathan Menard

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