Videoconferencing at Public Meetings - Procedures
1. Members of any Public Body, as that term is defined in Article I of Chapter 4 of the Village Code, shall be physically present at any meeting of the Public Body unless such member is unable to be physically present at the designated meeting location due to extraordinary circumstances.
2. For purposes of these procedures, the term “extraordinary circumstances” includes disability, illness, caregiving responsibilities, inclement weather, travel, or any other significant or unexpected factor or event which precludes the member’s physical attendance at such meeting.
3. If a member is unable to be physically present at the designated public meeting location and wishes to participate remotely by videoconferencing from a private location due to extraordinary circumstances, the member must notify the Village no later than four business days to the scheduled meeting in order for proper notice to the public to be given. If extraordinary circumstances present themselves on an emergent basis within four days of a meeting, the Public Body shall update its notice as soon as practicable to include that information.
4. If there is a quorum of members participating at a physical location open to the public, the Public Body may properly convene a meeting. A member who is participating from a remote location that is not open to in-person physical attendance by the public shall not count toward a quorum of the Public Body but may participate and vote if there is a quorum of members at a physical location open to the public.
5. Except in the case of executive sessions conducted pursuant to Section 105 of the Public Officers Law, the Public Body shall ensure that its members can be heard, seen, and identified while the meeting is being conducted, including but not limited to any motions, proposals, resolutions, and any other matter formally discussed or voted upon. This shall include the use of first and last name placards physically placed in front of the members or, for members participating by videoconferencing from private locations due to extraordinary circumstances, such members must ensure that their full first and last name appears on their videoconferencing screen.
6. The minutes of the meeting involving videoconferencing based on extraordinary circumstances pursuant to Section 103-a of the Public Officers Law shall include which, if any, members participated by videoconferencing from a private location due to such extraordinary circumstances.
7. The public notice of the meetings shall inform the public: (i) that extraordinary circumstances videoconferencing will, or may, be used; (ii) where the public can view and/or participate in such meeting; (iii) where required documents and records will be posted or available; and (iv) the physical location for the meeting where the public can attend.
8. The Public Body shall provide that each open portion of any meeting conducted using extraordinary circumstances videoconferencing shall be recorded. The recordings shall be posted or linked on the Village’s website within five business days following the meeting and shall remain so available for a minimum of five years thereafter. Such recordings shall be transcribed upon request.
9. If members of a Public Body are authorized to participate by videoconferencing from a private location due to extraordinary circumstances, the Public Body shall provide the opportunity for members of the public to view such meeting by video, and to participate in proceedings by videoconference in real time where public comment or participation is authorized. The Public Body shall ensure that where extraordinary circumstances video conferencing is used, it authorizes the same public participation or testimony as in-person participation or testimony.
10. Open meetings of all Public Bodies of the Village conducted using extraordinary circumstances videoconferencing pursuant to the provisions of Section 103-a of the Public Officers Law shall utilize technology to permit access by members of the public with disabilities consistent with the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act, as amended, and corresponding guidelines. For the purposes of this guideline, “disability” shall have the meeting defined in Section 292 of the Executive Law.
11. The in-person participation requirements of Section 103-a(2)(c) of the Public Officers Law shall not apply during a state disaster emergency declared by the governor pursuant to Section 28 of the Executive Law, or to a local state of emergency proclaimed by the chief executive of a county, city, village, or town pursuant to Section 24 of the Executive Law, if the Public Body determines that the circumstances necessitating the emergency declaration would affect or impair the ability of the Public Body to hold an in-person meeting.