Po­lice called to Mor­rin Coun­cil meet­ing

The Drumheller Mail - - FRONT PAGE - Pa­trick Ko­lafa

When Mor­rin Vil­lage Coun­cil says to turn off your cell phone, they mean it.

This comes af­ter Drumheller RCMP were called to the Vil­lage's reg­u­lar coun­cil meet­ing on Wednesday, May 17 to assist in re­mov­ing a per­son for leav­ing their cell phone on dur­ing their meet­ing. Deputy Mayor Dave MacLeod ex­plains that the publisher from the East Cen­tral Re­view, Joyce Web­ster was asked to leave the meet­ing af­ter her phone dis­turbed the meet­ing.

“We have a pro­ce­dure by­law and her cell phone went off. She knows the by­law and has a copy of the by­law and at the begin­ning of the meet­ing the Mayor vo­cal­izes that all elec­tronic de­vices are to be turned off,” he said.

He said that af­ter the cell phone went off, Web­ster was asked to leave.

“She re­fused to leave. I said ‘you have no choice, your cell phone went off, you have bro­ken the rules,'” said Macleod.

He adds that this hap­pened once be­fore at a meet­ing in April, how­ever that time she was per­mit­ted to stay.

Macleod said they re­cessed the meet­ing and Web­ster picked up her chair and moved it into the door­way. At that point, the po­lice were called. They at­tended and af­ter that, she left.

Web­ster as­serts the by-law does not specif­i­cally spec­ify cell phones, only cam­eras and record­ing de­vices, and the sound on her phone was turned off, other than for text messages.

“As a publisher, I need to have con­tact with my staff 24/7,” she said in an email. “My camera and the record­ing de­vice on my cell phone was off. As far as re­spect­ing Mayor Lacher's re­quest for "All elec­tronic and record­ing de­vices be shut off", re­spect does not come with a ti­tle, re­spect is earned.”

Macleod ex­plains the ban on the elec­tri­cal de­vices came in af­ter res­i­dents at­tend­ing the meet­ing were us­ing them in a dis­rup­tive man­ner.

“They would sit there and tap away on and it was dis­tract­ing,” he said. “So we said no more cell phones, so then they came in with tablets and were tap­ping away.”

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