Can our town supervisor chair meetings remotely?
In October our town supervisor was connected in via a laptop and chaired a meeting. No one in the public could do that, they could just view it on Facebook. This month, he was not present. He may have been viewing, but did not participate.
There was discussion about his continued participation from afar. The town attorney drafted a law that would allow him to participate via some form of technology. He gave that to the board members to review for discussion at next meeting. Then have a public hearing the next month.
One of the board members felt this was a slippery slope because it might be for a few months. The town attorney said, it could be a couple years. He would be out of town Monday through Friday.
Just wondering if you have any thoughts about that.
In 2022, the Open Meetings Law was amended to allow for members of a public body to participate remotely, as long as a quorum of members are present in person.
In order for members to participate remotely, a town must pass a resolution which establishes rules for allowable “extraordinary circumstances” when participating remotely is allowed. As part of passing a local law or resolution on this topic a public hearing must be held.
I don’t think the intention of this new law is to allow an elected official to go to Florida for the winter or to take another job out of state.
It will be interesting to see how the town writes up what constitutes “extraordinary circumstances”. Your local news media may be interested in this.