Distracted Silence?

I simply cannot let this one go.  I attended last night's city council meeting and I am wondering why one city council member in particular seemed totally uninterested in being there. 

I suppose it would be helpful here to explain to the readers that sitting on the desks in front of the council members can be any assortment of things such as cell phones, newspapers, and their city issued iPads. Since they now sit on a pedestal behind the wood shrine, the citizens don't have a clue what is going on back there.  We can also no longer see who pushes the button to speak or who pushes their button to vote first.  Why?  Could it be that the city does not wish for the citizens to see any more than what they want us to see?  That could probably be changed if they would program the image on the overhead screen to show it.

While I am on my soapbox, I know of at least three hearing impaired people who sit in that audience, and I am one of them.  The city should be providing an ADA approved method for those of us who have a hearing impediment with either headphones or some other method.  Additionally, for the visually impaired people, the print on the overhead screen is awfully small and I often see people starting to move toward the front of the room in order to read it when there are presentations. 

Unfortunately, modifications at this state of the game would cost money we so desperately don't have.  So it might be helpful for citizens if we at least knew what our council members were up to as they sit behind the wooden wall, especially if they are texting or surfing the web, as I have suspected some of them doing and have even put in an information request which was confirmed and blogged about previously.

 I cannot help but point out the obvious then.  What on God's green earth was Red Byboth doing up there throughout the whole meeting last night?  He certainly wasn't engaged with the audience members.  He certainly did not look interested in the agenda.  He looked irritated that nobody wanted to 2nd motions so he finally made a 2nd himself after many moments of silence after a motion was made.  Awkward.

In my opinion, the council members need to check their phones at the door.  What are they doing bringing the object of many a distraction into these meetings anyway?  As far as I'm concerned, unless someone is dying, their phones need to be shut off. Seriously.  I might also add that if what is on their cell phones is far more interesting than what is taking place in the meeting, then I suggest they share it with the audience since it is allowable as part of the Open Meetings Act. 

How about it Red, darlin'.  So what were you doing back there last night with your head buried through 95% of the meeting?  Is it Sports Illustrated Swimsuit time again?  Do we need to have another drink at the bar so you can give me a verbal on it and I don't have to make an open records request?  Hey, I'll even wear those shoes for you ;-)