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(A) Rules statement. Any member of the Village Board may attend any open or closed meeting of the Village Board via electronic means (such as by telephone, video or internet connection), provided that such attendance is not otherwise prohibited and is in compliance with these rules and any applicable laws.
(B) Prerequisites. A member of the Village Board may attend a meeting electronically if the member meets the following conditions:
(1) The member must notify the Clerk at least 24 hours before the meeting, unless impractical, so that necessary communications equipment can be arranged. Inability to make the necessary technical arrangements will result in denial of a request for remote attendance.
(2) The member must assert one of the following three reasons why he or she is unable to physically attend the meeting:
(a) The member cannot attend because of personal illness or disability; or
(b) The member cannot attend because of employment purposes or the business of the Village Board; or
(c) The member cannot attend because of a family or other emergency.
(C) Authorization to participate. After receiving the electronic attendance request, the Clerk shall inform the Village Board of the request for electronic attendance. After establishing that there is a quorum physically present at a meeting where a member of the Village Board desires to attend electronically, the presiding officer shall state that (i) a notice was received by a member of the Village Board in accordance with these rules; and (ii) the member will be deemed authorized to attend the meeting electronically, unless a motion objecting to the member’s electronic attendance is made, seconded, and approved by two-thirds of the members of the Village Board physically present at the meeting. If no such motion is made and seconded or if any such motion fails to achieve the required vote by the members of the Village Board physically present at the meeting, then the request by the member to attend the meeting electronically shall be deemed approved by the Village Board and the presiding officer shall declare the requesting member present. After such declaration by the presiding officer, the question of a member’s electronic attendance may not be reconsidered.
(D) Adequate equipment required. The member participating electronically and other members of the Village Board must be able to communicate effectively, and members of the audience must be able to hear all communications at the meeting site. Before allowing electronic attendance at any meeting, the Village Board shall provide equipment adequate to accomplish this objective at the meeting site.
(E) Minutes. Any member attending electronically shall be considered an off-site attendee and counted as present electronically for that meeting if the member is allowed to attend. The meeting minutes shall also reflect and state specifically whether each member is physically present or present by electronic means.
(F) Rights of a remote member. A member permitted to attend electronically will be able to express his or her comments during the meeting and participate in the same capacity as those members physically present, subject to all general meeting guidelines and procedures previously adopted and adhered to. The member attending electronically shall be heard, considered, and counted as to any vote taken. Accordingly, the name of any member attending electronically shall be called during any vote taken, and his or her vote counted and recorded by the Clerk and placed in the minutes for the corresponding meeting. A member attending electronically may leave a meeting and return as in the case of any member, provided the member attending electronically shall announce his or her leaving and returning.
(G) Committees, boards and commissions. These rules shall apply to all committees, boards and commissions established by authority of the Village Board.
(H) Participation while driving prohibited. Members permitted to attend a meeting electronically may not participate while driving, unless they are in compliance with all state driving laws regarding cell phone use.
(I) Limited participation rights. Nothing herein shall prohibit an official who does not meet the prerequisites of division (B) from participating in the meeting remotely, without voting rights, if the audio or video equipment is available and a majority of those present do not vote against the participation. Costs in such circumstances shall not be reimbursable.
(Ord. 15-38, passed 9-8-15)