After announcing a new policy regarding Council electronic communications Tuesday in the Rules Committee meeting, Council President Greg Anderson put it into writing Tuesday afternoon.
The policy, Anderson wrote, is “guided by the principles of equal access and transparency.” And if Committee discussion is any guide, it seems to apply to all manner of electronic communications, including newfangled media like LinkedIn (and presumably Tinder and whatever follows), even though the document is not explicit in that regard.
“Sending or receiving text messages with a registered lobbyist, union member or union representative during a Committee or City Council meeting related to official public business on the agenda is discouraged,” Anderson writes, adding that “Council Members shall not reply to any text message from a registered lobbyist, union member or union representative related to official public business on the agenda.”
As well, Anderson writes, timely disclosure of such messages is required.
“In the event a Council Member receives a text message during a Committee or City Council meeting from a registered lobbyist, union member or union representative related to official public business on the agenda,” Anderson writes, “the Council Member must disclose the receipt of such communication by filing it with the Legislative Services Division within 48 hours of receipt. The communication will be placed in the permanent bill file.”
During Rules on Tuesday, Anderson noted that its his prerogative to set policy. Barring another (entirely possible) public embarrassment for one or more Council messages regarding these communications, this policy likely will stand until July, when setting such policies will become Lori Boyer‘s cross to bear.