(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.