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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Ban on cell phone chit chat, texting during St. Petersburg Council meetings DOA

24

March

ST. PETERSBURG -- Leslie Curran acknowledges that she's not the most technologically savvy.

The Council member jokes it would take her half a day to text one sentence.

But when it comes to City Council meetings, Curran has no patience for other council members e-mailing and texting.

"It might be multi-tasking, but it's rude," said Curran during a Thursday workshop where she proposed banning the use of electronic communication devices by council members during meetings. "I could bring a book. What's the difference?"

At least one of her colleagues, Herb Polson, agreed that it was problematic for council members to read e-mails, some of which are coming from constituents, during meetings. There's the whole Florida open meetings law to consider.

"We shouldn't be doing it," Polson said.

And City Attorney John Wolfe said he's uncomfortable when he sees council members texting at meetings.

So what happened to Curran's motion to ban such communications? It died for lack of support.

 

-- Michael Van Sickler, Times Staff Writer

 

[Last modified: Thursday, March 24, 2011 4:03pm]

    

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