Eau Claire City Council members may soon receive free internet access in their own homes.
City council member Catherine Emmanuelle will submit a motion on Tuesday to change the 2018 city budget. She wants to set aside $6,600 to reimburse city council members for internet use at home. The money would be distributed at a rate of $50 per month per council member.
Emmanuelle believes the request is reasonable because council members rely heavily on access to the internet to carry out city business and serve their constituents properly. She says many times council members work outside of business hours from home, and to do so they need reliable internet access.
“What I really care about is accessibility to public service, and I want to make sure we have the mechanism in place, that if anyone didn't have the internet, that they could provide for it in their home, and also serve on the city council,” Emmanuelle told News 18. “So not only is this important today, it's also important in trying to make public service more accessible for all citizens to serve," she explained.
Emmanuelle also said other cities around the country have adopted the same policy allowing as much as $300 a month in communication expenses for council members.