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Cesternino to represent city while deployed

Xavier Smith • May 22, 2018 at 6:59 PM

The Lebanon City Council will put a new state law to work this year, as Councilor Rob Cesternino will serve as councilor while deployed with the Tennessee Army National Guard.

The law, which goes into effect March 23, allows local municipalities to pass an ordinance that would allow members to attend meetings through audio and/or visual communication if the member is deployed by the military for less than 13 months.

Cesternino leaves Wednesday for his deployment, and thanks to a unanimous vote by the council, he will continue to serve as councilor while deployed. He said he would still be able to communicate with constituents through email and cellphone.

“I think it’s a great thing, because I don’t think elected official should be not be able to represent their constituents because they stepped forward to serve their country,” Cesternino said.

State Rep. Clark Boyd and Sen. Mark Pody sponsored the legislative resolution, which will allow Cesternino to vote on all city matters while deployed.

Pody said he was not aware of any other states that had similar language during this year’s legislative session. Sen. Lee Harris, D-Memphis, said the legislation is a “change from traditional voting,” but he supported the measure.

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