Can a council or board member be considered “present” if she is not physically at the meeting? Governing boards of public entities increasingly face these questions as technology provides an ever-increasing array of options for electronic communication. The Cape Charles Town Council took up this question on Thursday.
In the past, there have been occasions where a council member is either on travel or sick and is not able to attend the meeting. By allowing them to call in via conference call, they would be able to attend the meeting “virtually”.
During the discussion, it was noted that while they may attend remotely, and even vote on a measure, they would not be considered part of a quorum. That still requires a physical presence.
Council was in general agreement that this would acceptable, however, only two remote meetings per fiscal year would be permitted.
“While this all sounds good, sometimes after you try it, it doesn’t work out so good. How, or what…how do we do this technically?” Paul Grossman said.
Council plans to take up the details of this at future work sessions.