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Councilman goes cellular - 'Can you hear me now?'

Norwalk Reflector Staff • Oct 29, 2015 at 12:12 PM

Bob Carleton, second ward councilman, has decided to go strictly cellular, but is worried people will have trouble reaching him since cell phone numbers are not allowed in phone books.

His cellular number is (419) 706-6853 and he has disconnected his land line.

"I want to make myself available to anyone who wants to get a hold of me," he said. "The phone company will give me an intercept for 30 days and then charge $10 a month for the next two months," he said. An intercept means that anyone calling Carleton's number listed in the phone book would hear a message giving his new number.

But after three months, the phone company refuses to continue the intercept even if Carleton paid $10 a month.

"I'd continue to pay the fee," he said. "I would pay for the whole next year."

"I decided not to keep the land line and the expenses associated with it," Carleton said, because he has been using his cell phone extensively and not using the land line as much.

When Carleton talked to the company that publishes the local phone book, Idearc, he said they initially told him he could not have a cell phone published in the book.

If he had a company and bought an ad in the yellow pages, he could publish the number, but Carleton said most people would not think of looking up a councilman's personal phone number in the yellow pages.

"What category would they list me under?" he asked.

Some businesses pay for listings in the white pages because they want their company name in larger and bold print. But when Carleton finally reached a person after five separate phone calls of up to 25 minutes each and at least 10 different menus the Idearc representative did not know if the company would allow Carleton to list a cell number in the white pages even if he paid for it.

"I had two simple questions Can I get it listed in the white pages? How much would it cost me to list it?," he said. The answer we don't know.

"I ended up more confused than when I made the call. It is a maze to try to figure out how to even get over to talk to somebody," Carleton said.

"If you want your mobile number published, why should you not be allowed to do that?" he asked.

Carleton said he has already had the city Web site changed so his cell number is given.

"I don't know how else to get that phone number available to people," Carleton said.

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