If you think Ascension’s elected officials ignore social media consider that Ascension Parish Council is scheduled to approve a Virtual Meeting Policy. Included in the new policy is a requirement that “each member must blur their background…in an effort to minimize distractions.” This has to be in response to the social media page Ascension Parish Department of Memes (huge fans btw, we dig what those guys do).
A version of the painting depicted above appeared on the wall behind Councilman Corey Orgeron for parts of the August 9 virtual meeting of EA Drainage, and APDM had a little fun at Orgeron’s expense (which we encourage every AP citizen to do considering what Orgeron has done to them). The proposed policy is reprinted below (scroll down to Item 10):
ELECTRONIC MEETING RULES
1. Login Information: Login information, to include date, time, URL and codes, shall be sent to all members.
2. Login time: the internet service shall be available 15 minutes prior to the start of the meeting. Members should make every effort to log in before the start of the meeting.
3. Technical requirements and malfunctions. Each member is responsible for audio and internet connections; no action shall be invalidated on the grounds that the loss or poor quality of a member’s individual connection prevented participation in the meeting.
4. Signing in and out. Members must be present on camera when the Chair reads the item to be considered in order to vote. If a member is disconnected due to a technical difficulty, that member shall call the tech support number provided within a five minute period. The Council will pause for reconnection. If the member is not reconnected after five minutes, the Council shall proceed with voting.
5. Signing out voluntarily: If a member chooses to leave the meeting and signs out voluntarily, the member must be recognized and announce his/her departure to the Chair.
6. Quorum: the presence of a quorum shall be established by the secretary based upon the sign-in information provided. After the start of the meeting, the continued presence of a quorum shall be determined by the online list of participating members, unless a member demands a quorum count.
7. Assignment of the floor. To seek recognition by the chair, a member shall raise a hand or verbally seek recognition. After the member is recognized, the chair shall cause the online queue of members who had been seeking recognition. To claim preference in recognition, another member who had been seeking recognition may promptly seek recognition again, and the chair shall recognize the member for the limited purpose of determining if that member is entitled to preference in recognition.
8. Interrupting a member. A member who intends to make a motion or request that under the rules may interrupt a speaker shall raise a hand and shall wait a reasonable time for the chair’s instructions before attempting to interrupt the speaker by voice.
9. Mute: As background noise is a major distraction, the Chair reserves the right to ask the IT department to mute a member’s mic when that member is not speaking. Each member is responsible for muting and unmuting when necessary.
10. Background. Also in an effort to minimize distractions, each member must blur their background (a Zoom feature). If a member chooses a different background or does not blur, the Chair will ask that this be done before the meeting starts.