Marshfield may ban cell phones at city meetings
By Hub City Times staff
MARSHFIELD – Marshfield Aldermen are working on legislation which would put restrictions on the use of cell phones and other electronic devices during city meetings. With Chris Jockheck absent, the Marshfield Common Council voted 7-2 on Aug. 13 to direct city staff to draft a policy for aldermen to consider at a future meeting.
City Administrator Steve Barg looked at policies already in place in other municipalities, and came up with five initial recommendations.
Barg said the new policy would apply to the council and all city committees, boards, and commissions, as well as any other city staff or officials that are anticipated to participate in the meeting.
Alderman Rebecca Spiros voted against having the cell phone ban drafted.
Alderman Tom Witzel supports the concept, and says it’s probably a good idea for the city to get something on the books now, before there’s a problem, or a perceived problem.
The city of Marshfield is trying to avoid the situation the city of Madison found itself in a few years ago, when it was discovered that aldermen were texting each other during meetings, a direct violation of the state’s open meeting law.
Alderman Jason Zaleski joined Spiros in voting against moving forward with the proposed policy. Barg says he will bring a policy forward at the council’s next meeting Aug. 27.