Months after a continuity of government ordinance allowing Town Council to hold meetings electronically due to the COVID-19 pandemic expired, Broadway is reverting to the virtual attendance option.
During Tuesday’s Town Council meeting, members adopted an ordinance to allow council members the ability to participate remotely if a conflict arose. The ordinance was adopted in a 6-0 vote. Council member Douglas Harpine was absent.
As stated in the ordinance, a council member can attend a meeting virtually under three circumstances: a personal matter, a temporary or permanent disability or other medical condition preventing a council member from attending, or if a member’s family has a medical condition that requires care and prevents a member from physically attending.
Town Manager Kyle O’Brien said the ordinance was introduced because it would be useful to have a permanent policy in place, and the continuity of government ordinance allowed for flexibility.
“When that expired, we didn’t feel a need to continue, but understood there was an uncertainty with COVID,” O’Brien said. “COVID brought it to light. Now, we can have a permanent ordinance.”
According to the ordinance, if a council member seeks to participate in a meeting remotely, the remaining members of council will vote on whether to accept or deny the member’s virtual participation at the beginning of the meeting.
If council approves the request to meet virtually, the minutes of the meeting will show the member’s remote participation, the reasoning behind not being physically present and the physical location from which the member is participating remotely. If denied, the minutes will show the member violated the ordinance.
Town Council members will be allowed to attend a meeting virtually no more than three times in any calendar year if the reasoning is a personal matter. There is no limit to the number of times a member can attend remotely due to a temporary or permanent disability or aiding a family member with a medical condition.
A quorum will be required to be assembled in-person at the Town Council chambers.