Code of Ordinances

of Union County, Illinois.

Ordinance Chapter: Article VIII - Meeting Procedures

(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;

  1. 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;
  2. 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
  3. 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 def­i­n­i­tion of “meet­ing” set forth in Sec­tion 1–8‑12 shall super­sede and replace any oth­er def­i­n­i­tion used in any pre­vi­ous or exist­ing ordinance.

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 Coun­ty Clerk or his or her designee is here­by autho­rized to destroy the audio and video record­ings of those closed ses­sions for which:

(A) The cor­po­rate author­i­ties of the Coun­ty have approved the min­utes of the closed ses­sions as to accu­rate con­tent, regard­less of whether the min­utes have been released for pub­lic review;

(B) More than eigh­teen (18) months have elapsed since the date of the closed session;

(C) There is no court order requir­ing the preser­va­tion of such record­ing; and

(D) The cor­po­rate author­i­ties of the Coun­ty have not passed a motion requir­ing the preser­va­tion of the ver­ba­tim record­ing of that meeting.

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)