After seeing and hearing a successful teleconferencing test between two laptop computers Thursday, the Dunsmuir City Council voted to adopt a policy that disallows remote participation in meetings. As a result, councilor Ed Steele will be cut off from proceedings scheduled in January, February and March.

“I would like to be involved in city business,” Steele argued before the vote. “And this is a way for me to do that while I'm away for medical reasons.”

Other council members based their stances against the high-tech connection on cost, inability to verify a remote member's intent, and reluctance to be the first to try it. “I don't see a need,” said Arlis Steele. “If the supervisors, or some other city council used it, that would be a different matter.”

In other actions, Arlis Steele was elected mayor, and Diane Dolf vice mayor. The council voted unanimously to adopt a revised version Ordinance 539, establishing an administrative hearings process, and Ordinance 540, which raised the maximum fine for infraction from $675 to $1,000.

The council also voted to present to the voters a ballot measure that would ask for a $25 parcel tax to fund the library. Direction was given to staff to find another way to manage grant monies, terminating a long-standing agreement with Great Northern Corporation.

The next city council meeting is scheduled for Thursday, January 19, 2012 at 6 p.m.