Texts, emails prohibited at some public meetings

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STERLING HEIGHTS (AP) -- Some Michigan communities are requiring local officials to keep their hands off smartphones, iPads and similar electronic devices during meetings.

The Detroit News reported recently that email, blogging, texting and other forms of electronic communication are being placed off limits for council or commission members in some cities.

Supporters of such efforts argue that email or text conversations could violate the Michigan Open Meetings Act, which requires decisions and most deliberations to be public. Opponents of such measures say technology helps officials do their jobs better.

Policy changes have been put into place in communities including Sterling Heights, Royal Oak and Ann Arbor.

Published: Thu, Jul 14, 2011

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