Essex Mayor Wants Councillors To Put Cellphones Down During Meetings

The mayor of Essex is hoping to put a stop to councillors using their cellphones and tablets during council meetings.

Mayor Ron McDermott will be filing a notice of motion tonight.

He says he'll speak to the motion at the next council meeting on August 21st but says it's an ongoing issue that needs to be resolved.

McDermott says some councillors are using their devices to make posts on their social media pages or even commenting with others while the meeting is going on.

He says councillors need to put their cell phones down during council meetings.

"Instead of people like council members paying attention to what is being discussed and everything and I guess they can do it at the same time but to send stuff out to Facebook and everything because someone's speaking and putting smart things out there while the meeting is going on, that's not what these things are intended for." 

He says councillors should be paying attention to what's being discussed at the meetings.

"It's getting pretty bad so I think we need to put them down."

He says as mayor, he has the right to tell councillors to put their cell phones down.

"I have the right to refuse these things in the council chambers as the mayor.  I don't want them all coming at me that's why I didn't really want to talk really about this, I probably shouldn't be talking because I have the right to do this."

McDermott says he wants the devices restricted during council meetings unless it's used for an emergency.