FARMINGTON — Recent city council meetings have delved into the gears that make American democracy work.

For Farmington city officials, discussions on the rights and powers of city councilmembers and the mayor have gone on for more than two weeks, raising questions about one official's right to influence the decisions of another.

"I don't think it's your business to dictate how I represent my constituents," said Councilwoman Mary Fischer to Mayor Tommy Roberts at last week's council meeting. "I will find a legislator to contact the (Attorney General's office) to make a ruling on it."

Fischer's concerns stemmed from Roberts' Feb. 12 mandate that City Manager Rob Mayes set up an email account in her name.

Fischer objected, saying she did not want, nor need, an email account to stay informed, and that she preferred hard copies of documents and personal phone calls.

Roberts said, on Tuesday, that it was her choice whether to use the email account.

"It was my direction to provide the email account," he said. "I think it's within the direction I have. It's certainly within my discretion."

Fischer, however, said that her original complaint was about how she was not being given information she requested under the Freedom of Information Act.

"I had not received the information I had requested and was guaranteed by law," she said. "When I make these requests, I expect them to be fulfilled."

Roberts said that it was his understanding that the information requested by Fischer did not qualify as a public record.

Debate surrounding the rights and privileges of city councilmembers and the mayor may soon be coming to an end.

Councilman Jason Sandel requested a report from City Attorney Jay Burnham on separation of powers and the level of authority the city's elected officials have to dictate to each other.

Greg Yee may be reached at gyee@daily-times.com; 564-4606. Follow him on Twitter @GYeeDT