Silver Lake Village Board bans cellphone use at meetings

phone stock-mf-webThe Silver Lake Village Board passed a policy Monday that will keep trustees from using their cellphones during meetings.

Village President Sue Gerber proposed the policy. She said she has observed board members texting each other during meetings, which she finds both unprofessional and potentially illegal.

“It’s very distracting and unprofessional to be playing with cellphones” during meetings, Gerber said.

Cellphone use during meetings might also constitute an open meetings violation according to information she has obtained from the League of Munciplaities, Gerber said.

Trustee Cyndy Schwebke said she had two concerns about the policy. One, she said she feels her cellphone is her lifeline to her family in case of emergencies. Second she said she does keep notes on her phone and has used it for research to answer constituent questions quickly during meetings.

In response Gerber said she would accept a change to the policy that banned use of cellphones at the board table except emergencies if ringers are silenced.

The policy passed in a unanimous vote with Trustee Patrick Dunn absent.

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  1. President can stop the meeting says:

    if people are’ talking ‘ and can call those who are texting OUT! .

    It is the job of the president to conduct a meeting with proper decorum.
    There is no need for a policy as proper decorum is already part of Roberts Rules accepted by the State of Wisconsin statutes.

  2. Pat Wilson says:

    Why didn’t Mr. Albrech do that? He allowed it to go on for many months. But of course Cindy was one of his pals.

  3. sandy says:

    I guess people who aren’t keeping up with technology can’t understand it. If I took a note on a piece of paper, what would be the difference??? NOTHING!!! But Sue seems to think that people were doing these things, but cannot prove that they were, but is making accusations of it anyways. How is that any better???
    @Pat Wilson, how do you know this was going on for months??? Where you sitting right behind Cyndy looking at her phone, I think not!!! So you are going based on what you have heard and continue to spread the RUMORS which is one of the huge issues that plagues this Village. Why not act like an adult and stop the rumors and if you don’t know 100%, don’t continue to spread them. Now that would be something helpful in this community!!!

  4. Bernard Punsley says:

    With all due respect, Mudslinging Sue wouldn’t know decorum if it smacked her in the face! She needs a bigger gavel. Maybe she could “pound salt” with it. As a means of comparison, if you attend the Westosha Central School Board meetings, each board member has a lap top in front of them during the meetings. Various documents can be posted on it, notes taken, etc. Many communities are headed this way….it’s usually expensive to start up, but well worth the cost savings which will be realized down the road. To say nothing of the convenience to the board members. So current board members are using their own personally paid for devices to assist them in conducting village business. And that’s a BAD thing?

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