City to use Facebook Live; Council leans toward cell phone policy
By Hub City Times staff
MARSHFIELD – Marshfield residents will have a new way of watching city Council meetings. With Aldermen Jason Zaleski and Rebecca Spiros absent, the Common Council voted 8- 0 on July 9 in favor of making their meetings available through Facebook Live.
City Communications Coordinator Tom Loucks told the Council it’s a sign of the times, and his department is ready embrace and use the technology.
Loucks said the real-time comments feature would be turned off while the actual meeting is taking place, but residents would be able to post comments, questions and concerns once the meeting is finished and the final video is posted. The council agreed to use the Facebook Live technology on a three-month trial basis.
While the council was embracing technology in that regard, aldermen were leaning toward a policy rejecting the use of their cell phones while city meetings are taking place. While it is not common practice now, Alderman Tom Witzel said he had concerns over it becoming a perceived issue.
Mayor Bob McManus was in favor of the proposed policy, saying that city council meetings deserve the aldermen’s full attention.
The city of Madison recently got in legal hot water because it was discovered several aldermen were texting each other during meetings. The council gave no specific timeline to city staff in terms of when a policy should be in place. The vote to solicit that policy was 8-0.