Police called to Morrin Council meeting
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.”