August 10, 2020–11:50 p.m.
Rome City Commissioners will have to turn off their cell phones during commission meetings and the pre-meeting caucuses.
Monday night, the commission approved a resolution that was recommended by the General Administration Committee based on advice from the Georgia Municipal Association and City Attorney Andy Davis.
“By using electronic devices during a meeting, the public could perceive that there is communication among yourselves about voting or there is communications, if there is a public hearing, with others outside of the commission meeting,” Davis said. “You all, at certain times, are like a judge and jury. Judges and juries do not have electronic devices to communicate of what would be taking place.”
The vote was not unanimous.
Commissioner Wendy Davis voted “No.”
“I would be delighted to refrain from texting any of my colleagues during the meetings,” she said. “I am not going to stop letting the public know what we’re doing during these meetings, which is mostly what I use my phone for.”
Mark Cochran was the other commissioner to vote against the resolution.
Commissioners will still be able to use city-issued iPad’s during meetings.