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ORDINANCE NO. 2020.04
AN ORDINANCE AMENDING TITLE 1, “ADMINISTRATION,” CHAPTER 6, “CITY COUNCIL,” TO CREATE A NEW SECTION 10 ENTITLED, “ELECTRONIC ATTENDANCE,” IN THE CITY CODE OF THE CITY OF SYCAMORE, ILLINOIS.
WHEREAS, to permit attendance by a means other than physical presence, the City Council of the City of Sycamore must adopt rules that conform to the requirements and restrictions of the Open Meetings Act, 5 ILCS 120/7; and
WHEREAS, the City Council of the City of Sycamore desires to permit attendance of members of the public body by means other than physical presence in compliance with the Open Meetings Act.
NOW THEREFORE, BE IT ORDAINED by the City Council for the City of Sycamore as follows:
That Title 1, “Administration,” Chapter 6, “City Council,” be amended by adding a new Section 10 entitled, “Electronic Attendance,” as follows:
1-6-10: ELECTRONIC ATTENDANCE:
Rules Statement: It is the decision of the City of Sycamore that any member of the City Council may attend any open or closed meeting of the City of Sycamore Council via electronic means (such as by telephone, video, or internet connection) provided that such attendance is in compliance with these rules and any applicable laws.
Prerequisites: A member of the City of Sycamore Council may attend a meeting electronically if the member meets the following conditions: A quorum is physically present throughout the meeting; a majority of the members present votes to approve the electronic attendance at the meeting; and the requesting member meetings the following conditions:
The member must notify the City Manager at least two (2) days 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 electronic attendance.
The member must assert one of the following three reasons why he or she is unable to physically attend the meeting:
The member cannot attend because of personal illness or disability;
The member cannot attend because of employment purposes or the business of the City of Sycamore; or
The member cannot attend because of a family or other emergency.
The City Manager, after receiving the electronic attendance request, shall inform the Aldermen of the City of Sycamore of the request for electronic attendance.
Voting Procedures: Providing the above prerequisites have been met and following roll call to establish that a quorum is physically present at the meeting site, a motion shall be made and considered as to whether to allow the member to remotely attend the meeting via electronic means. A vote may be taken to permit participation for a stated series of meetings if the same reason applies to each case and proper notice has been provided. Otherwise, a vote must be taken to allow each remote participation via electronic means. The motion must be approved by a vote of a majority of the members of Council present.
Adequate Equipment Required: The member participating electronically, and other members of the City of Sycamore Council, 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 City of Sycamore shall provide equipment adequate to accomplish this objective at the meeting site.
Minutes: Any member attending electronically shall be considered an off-site attendee and counted as present electronically for that meeting. The meeting minutes shall also reflect and state specifically whether each member is physically present or present by electronic means.
Rights of 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 City 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.
Meetings: The term “meeting” as used herein refers to any gathering, whether in person or by video or audio conference, telephone call, electronic means (such as, without limitation, electronic mail, electronic chat, and instant messaging), or other means of contemporaneous interactive communication, of a majority of a quorum of the members of a public body held for the purposes of discussing public business.
Closed Meetings: A quorum of the City Council must be physically present at any closed meeting. Members participating remotely shall otherwise be entitled to participate in closed meetings by video or audio conference, in the same manner as at an open meeting.
Committees, Boards, and Commissions: These rules shall apply to all committees, boards, and commissions established by authority of the City of Sycamore.
This Ordinance shall be in full force and effect after its passage and approval as provided by law.
Passed by the City Council of the City of Sycamore and approved by the Mayor of said City this 15th day of June, 2020.
APPROVED: June 15, 2020 Attest:
MAYOR, Curt Lang CITY CLERK, Mary Kalk