City of Oronogo, MO
Jasper County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Ord. No. 20-10, 3-25-2020]
While it is legally permissible for members of the City's public governmental bodies to attend meetings and vote via video conference transmission, a member's use of video conference attendance should occur only sparingly. Because it is good public policy for citizens to have the opportunity to meet with their elected officials face to face, elected members of a public governmental body should endeavor to be physically present at all meetings unless attendance is unavoidable after exercising due diligence to arrange for physical presence at the meeting. The primary purpose of attendance by video conference connection should be to accommodate the public governmental body as a whole to allow meetings to occur when circumstances would otherwise prevent the physical attendance of a quorum of the body's members. A secondary purpose of attendance by video conference should be to ensure that all members may participate in business of the public governmental body that is emergency or highly important in nature and arose quickly so as to make attendance at a regular meeting practically impossible. Except in emergency situations, all efforts should be expended to ensure that a quorum of the members of the public governmental body be physically present at the normal meeting place of the body.
[Ord. No. 20-10, 3-25-2020]
As used in this Chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
VIDEO CONFERENCE or VIDEOCONFERENCING
Shall refer to:
A. 
A means of communication where at least one member of a public governmental body participates in the public meeting via an electronic connection made up of three components:
1. 
A live video transmission of the member of the public governmental body not in physical attendance; or
2. 
A live audio transmission allowing the member of the public governmental body not in physical attendance to be heard by those in physical attendance; or
3. 
A live audio transmission allowing the member of the public governmental body not in physical attendance to hear those in physical attendance at a meeting.
B. 
If at any time during a meeting one or more of the elements of a video conference becomes compromised (e.g., if any participants are unable to see, hear, or fully communicate), then the video conference participant is deemed immediately absent, and this absence should be reflected in the minutes. A video conference participant's absence may compromise a quorum in which case the applicable Missouri laws shall take effect regarding a broken quorum.
[Ord. No. 20-10, 3-25-2020]
A member of a public governmental body shall not attend more than two (2) meetings via video conference in a rolling twelve-month period, unless specifically waived and additional appearances be allowed by a majority of the Board of Aldermen. In keeping with the policy stated in § 155.020 above, attendance via video conference should only occur sparingly and for good cause. Such good cause shall be at the discretion of the member seeking to attend by video conference, but shall be for significant reasons, including, but not limited to, serious illness or injury of the member or a member of his or her immediate family, including father or mother, spouse, sibling, child, or grandchild and declared national or State of Missouri declaration of a state of emergency.
[Ord. No. 20-10, 3-25-2020]
Members of the public may not participate in a public meeting of a governmental body via video conference. The public wishing to attend a meeting, and elected officials not participating via videoconferencing of a meeting, shall participate at the physical location where meetings of the public governmental body are typically held, or as provided in a notice provided in accordance with the Sunshine Law.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See § 610.010 et seq., RSMo.
[Ord. No. 20-10, 3-25-2020]
If the governmental body chooses to have a meeting by telephone or other electronic means and there exists no physical location of the meeting, the public governmental body shall include in its meeting notice information on how the public may access that meeting via telephone or other electronic means.
[Ord. No. 20-10, 3-25-2020]
Members of the governmental body must be at the physical location for the meeting or appearing by video conference to be counted towards the quorum. Any member appearing solely by voice or conference call is not counted as present for quorum.
[Ord. No. 20-10, 3-25-2020]
The public governmental body shall cause there to be provided at the physical location communication equipment consisting of an audio and visual display, and a camera and microphone so that the member(s) of the public governmental body participating via videoconferencing, the members of the public governmental body in physical attendance, and the public in physical attendance may actively participate in the meeting in accordance with rules of meeting decorum. The communication equipment at the physical location of the meeting must allow for all meeting attendees to see, hear, and fully communicate with the videoconferencing participant. This requirement shall be subject to social interaction limitations or restrictions as duly enacted by the Oronogo Board of Aldermen, State of Missouri or United States of America.
[Ord. No. 20-10, 3-25-2020]
Elected members of a public governmental body attending a public meeting of that governmental body via video conference are deemed present for purposes of participating in a roll call vote to the same effect elected members of a public governmental body in physical attendance at a public meeting of that governmental body are deemed present. As indicated in Section 155.020 above, if any component of the video conference communication fails during the meeting, the member attending the meeting by video conference whose connection failed shall be deemed absent immediately upon such failure, and if the public governmental body was in the act of voting, the voting shall stop until all of the components of video conference attendance are again restored and the video conference participant's presence is again noted in the minutes.
[Ord. No. 20-10, 3-25-2020]
In a meeting where a member of a public governmental body is participating via videoconferencing and the meeting goes into a closed session, all provisions of Missouri law and City ordinances relating to closed sessions apply. Upon the public governmental body's vote to close the meeting, all members of the general public shall not be present. Likewise, a member of a public governmental body participating via videoconferencing must ensure there are no members of the public present at their location to see, hear, or otherwise communicate during the closed session. The member must also take all reasonable precautions to guard against interception of communication by others. Failure to ensure the requirements of this Section may result in corrective action by the full public governmental body in accordance with the City of Oronogo ordinance and regulations.
[Ord. No. 20-10, 3-25-2020]
In the meeting, whether in open or in closed session, the minutes taken should reflect the member, if any, participating via video conference; the members in physical attendance; and members, if any, absent.
[Ord. No. 20-10, 3-25-2020]
In the event that emergency circumstances create impossibility for the members of a public governmental body to physically attend, the body as a whole may meet and, if necessary, vote pursuant to Section 610.015, RSMo., by telephone, facsimile, internet or any other voice or electronic means. Examples of such emergency circumstances include, but are not limited to, declaration of national emergency, war, riot, terrorism, widespread fire, or natural disaster such as earthquake, tornado, hurricane, flood, or blizzard. To the extent possible in such circumstances, the public governmental body shall use reasonable efforts to cause a physical location to be provided for public attendance and participation.