(A)Policy Statement. It is the policy of the County that a member of any group associated with this unit of government which is subject to the provisions of the Open Meetings Act may attend and participate in any open or closed meeting of that Covered Group from a remote location via telephone, video or internet connection, provided that such attendance and participation is in compliance with this policy and any other applicable laws.
(B) Prerequisites. A member of the Covered Group of the County shall be provided the opportunity to attend an open and closed meeting or only one of such meetings from a remote location if the member meets that following conditions and a majority of a quorum of the Covered Body votes to approve the remote attendance;
the member must notify the recording secretary or clerk of the Covered Body at least twenty-four (24) hours before the meeting unless advance notice is impractical;
the member must meet one of three reasons described herein why he or she is unable to physically attend the meeting, including either: (a) that the member cannot attend because of personal illness or disability; (2) the member cannot attend because of employment purposes or the business of the County; or (3) the member cannot attend because of a family or other emergency; and
a quorum of the Covered Body must be physically present.
(C)Voting Procedure. After roll call, a vote of the Covered Body shall be taken, considering the prerequisites set forth in paragraph (B), on whether to allow an off-site board member to participate remotely. All of the members physically present are permitted to vote on whether remote participation will be allowed. A vote may be taken to permit remote participation for a stated series of meetings if the same reason applies in each case. Otherwise, a vote must be taken to allow each remote participation.
(D)Quorum and Vote Required. A quorum must be established by members physically present at any meeting before it can be considered whether to allow a member to participate in the meeting remotely. A vote of a majority of a quorum shall be necessary to decide the issue. For the meeting to continue there shall always need to be a quorum physically present.
(E)Minutes. The member participating remotely shall be considered an off-site participant and counted as present by means of video or audio conference, for that meeting of the members is allowed to participate. The meeting minutes of the County shall also reflect and state specifically whether each member is physically present, present by video, or present by audio means.
The County hereby adopts the Remote Participation Policy, as outlined in Addendum “A”, that permits a member of the public body to attend and participate in any meeting of a public body as defined in the Open Meetings Act from a remote location via telephone, video, or internet connection provided that such attendance and participation is in compliance with the policy and any applicable laws.
The term “meeting” shall mean “any gathering, whether in person or by video or audio conference, telephone calls, electronic means (such as, without limitation, electronic mail, electronic chat and instant messaging), or other means of contemporary interactive communication, of a majority of a quorum of the members of a public body held for the purpose of discussing public business” or such other definition as shall be contained within the state statutes.
Pursuant to Public Act 94–1058 which amends the Open Meetings Act in 5 ILCS 120/7, this County does hereby establish a policy that permits members of the corporate body to attend meetings by means other than physical presence.
The audio or video tape recordings of closed sessions shall be maintained for eighteen (18) months after the closed session and shall not be released to the public unless such release is required by a court order or specifically authorized for release by a vote of the County Board. Members of the corporate authorities may listen to the closed session recordings in the presence of the County Clerk or his or her designee. Copies of such tapes will not be made or provided to anyone unless specifically authorized by vote of the County Board.
At one meeting at least every six (6) months, the agenda shall include the item: “Review of the minutes and recordings of all closed sessions that have not yet been released for public review, and determination of which minutes, if any, may be released.” Minutes shall be reviewed in closed session and shall not be released unless the corporate authorities of the County find that it is no longer necessary to protect the public interest or the privacy of an individual by keeping them confidential. As to any minutes not released, the corporate authorities shall find that the “need for confidentiality still exists” as to those minutes. Minutes of closed sessions shall be kept indefinitely.
The County shall maintain sufficient tapes, batteries and equipment for the County to comply with this Division. The County Clerk or his/her designee shall periodically check the equipment to confirm that it is functioning. In the event that anyone present at a closed session determines that the equipment is not functioning properly, the closed session will be temporarily suspended to attempt to correct any malfunction. In the event that an equipment malfunction cannot be corrected immediately, the closed session will terminate until such time as the closed session may proceed with a functioning recording device.
At the beginning of each closed session, those present shall identify themselves by voice for the audio recording. If the meeting is videotaped, those present shall individually appear on camera and identify themselves by voice at the beginning of the closed session. The meeting Chair shall also announce the times the closed session commences and ends at the appropriate points on the recording.
In addition to the recordings of the closed and executive session as addressed in this Division, the County will keep minutes of all closed meetings in accordance with the requirements of the Open Meetings Act, 5 ILCS 120/2.06.
The County Clerk or his or her designee shall be responsible for arranging for the recording of such closed or executive sessions. In the absence of the County Clerk or his or her designee, the meeting Chair will arrange for the audio or video recording of the closed or executive session of the County Board. Each subsidiary public body of the County shall designate an individual who will be responsible for the recording of any and all closed or executive sessions of the subsidiary body and for providing the County Clerk with a copy of such recording. The County Clerk, or his or her designee, shall securely maintain the verbatim recordings of all closed sessions of the corporate authorities of the County and all subsidiary public bodies of the County.
The County shall keep a verbatim record of all closed or executive session meetings of the corporate authorities of the County or any subsidiary “public body” as defined by the Illinois Open Meetings Act, 5 ILCS 120/1. The verbatim record shall be in the form of an audio or video recording as determined by the corporate authorities. (See 5 ILCS 120/2)