The Free Press, Mankato, MN

State, national news

March 27, 2013

Minn. council members use Skype to attend meetings

(Continued)

"I don't think it's really appropriate to say that somebody sitting in an apartment or condo in California is accessible to the public," Anfinson said. He also wonders about the long-term effect on the democratic process.

"It's almost hard to articulate, but I think there's something important about elected representatives being physically accessible and present with their constituents," Anfinson said. He questioned whether, for instance, a city council could get away with holding a meeting where a majority of members were participating via Skype.

Cohasset officials don't see a problem.

"My thinking is, it's the 21st century; let's do this," said Mayor Greg Hagy.

"You can talk to them. They can talk to you. He can see them, and they can see him. I just don't see any difference between actually sitting there with the four outher council members, or interacting in that way," Hagy said. "I just don't have a problem with it. I think it's working great."

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Information from: Minnesota Public Radio News, http://www.mpr.org

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