Drivers caught texting in Tennessee face fines up to $50, while those who use cellphones in classrooms or courtrooms may be forced to hand them over. Texting during church service is generally a no-no and considered down-right rude while dining with friends.
So, is it proper for lawmakers to converse with one another, their family or constituents via text during a public meeting? The answer appears to depend upon the message, open government proponents say, although getting to the message is quite another problem.
“This is a new one,” said Deborah Fisher, executive director at Tennessee Coalition for Open Government. “Public officials ought to be very, very, careful in texting or emailing each other during a public meeting, because it does seem to be basically taking what should be open discussion into some type of private discussion … a veiled discussion right there in the public meeting.” Continue>>>