By Leilani Haywood
During the LS City Council meeting April 19, 2018, they discussed setting a policy for using cell phones during meetings. Councilman Rob Binney said, “I think this is a legislative matter and I’ve seen a couple councilmembers on their cell phones tonight. I think this council should figure out how to treat using cell phones going forward and this is something Mayor Pro Tem to consider.”
City Attorney Brian Head said, “as far as policy it’s up to the council to determine that.” Mayor Bill Baird said, “As mayor conducting the meeting, I would like to see cell phones out but I do have mine out. I would like to watch observe during the meeting. And I thought of talking to council via email today about not having them out but we’re going to have to work on some trust over time here.”
Mayor Baird said, “There are times my son is playing a baseball game tonight and he got a score. It’s kind of nice to see that message to see in his senior high school season. I think it’s how does it look and I want to show respect to people in here.”
Councilman Craig Faith admitted he had his cell phone out. “I’m on call for my daughter-in-law who is having a baby,” he said. “It’s also just not a cell phone. I take a lot of notes in my phone. I’ll go back and refer to a text and I’ve gotten messages up here.” Faith added that receiving messages on his phone from his constituents reminded him of when he delivered messages to legislators debating issues while he was working as a page for Missouri State House.
Councilman Johnson said when he was serving City Council in 2010 that he left a meeting after receiving a call that his granddaughter was born. “I suggest that we refer this to the Rules Committee but we need to have common sense about cell phone use.”
In other business, Baird said there were some technical issues while running the meeting. He said he thought of texting City Manager Steve Arbo when certain individuals came up to speak because he couldn’t find their name. “I’m having to find his name in the presentation. These details help this meeting function more effectively. There are a lot of technical issues we need to work though and I’m a tech guy.”