City Council president cracks down on text messaging with mayor’s office

Jacksonville’s Metropolis Council president needs to limit council members from having personal conversations by means of textual content messages with officers from Mayor Lenny Curry’s workplace throughout public conferences, which she says will enhance the transparency of their determination making.

Council President Anna Lopez Brosche created a brand new rule this week that claims council members “shall not” reply to any textual content messages they obtain throughout a gathering from members of Curry’s administration that’s associated to official enterprise. It might additionally require council members to reveal any textual content messages they obtain from Curry’s administration throughout conferences.

The identical restrictions already apply to textual content messages from registered lobbyists and labor union members or representatives.

“It’s actually about transparency, open authorities and equal entry,” stated Brosche. “There’s no cause why, if questions are being requested and answered, they shouldn’t be carried out in a really public approach.”’

The council first cracked down on textual content message communications in 2015 after the Occasions-Union revealed the president of the Firefighters’ union, Randy Wyse, efficiently lobbied council members via textual content messages as they debated a measure to divert $320,000 from the town’s stormwater price range to stop 17 hearth chiefs from being bumped right down to a decrease pay rank.

Brosche stated she has seen her colleagues obtain textual content messages from members of the administration throughout conferences — made attainable by particularly enlarged font sizes — however doesn’t know what they have been discussing.

She stated she additionally doesn’t know if the Curry administration has a apply of textual content messaging council members about laws as they talk about it throughout conferences, however she’s created the rule to stop anybody who’s making an attempt to affect the council from privately speaking with them as they put together to forged a vote.

The mayor’s workplace employs a number of individuals who act as in-home lobbyists to the council, creating private relationships with council members and briefing them, each in private and non-private conferences, about Curry’s priorities.

The council has been a robust supporter of Curry since he took workplace in 2015.

Whereas the administration does give briefings to the council in public conferences, there have been situations, like Curry’s main pension reform package deal, the place administration officers offered extra detailed details about main laws to council…

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