I applaud Mayor Emily Gabel-Luddy for asking council members to stay off their cell phones on the dais.
All cell-phone communications made or received by council members during council meetings should be publically disclosed. Members of the public may be expressing comments to some council members that should be shared with all other council members for transparency and the ability for open debate. Also, council members could text each other during the meetings, which might violate the Brown Act.
Most importantly, I recently attended a function at a location where no cell phones were allowed. It amazed me how focused conversations were and how attentive everyone was to what was being said. There was a genuine respect for differing opinions. Precluding usage of cell phones during council meetings is a step in the right direction for returning civil discourse to our council.