1.8 Remote Participation at Meetings by Traverse Area District Library Board Members and the Public

I. A Board member may participate in any meeting of the Traverse Area District Library (TADL) Board remotely as follows:

1. Through December 31, 2020 (or as may be extended by the Michigan Open Meetings Act or other law or order):  

Remote meetings of the TADL Board or committees or remote attendance of a member may occur for any reason.

2. From January 1, 2021 through December 31, 2021 (or such other period as established by the Michigan Open Meetings Act or other law or order):

A. A member may attend remotely if the member’s physical absence is due to military duty.

B. A member may attend remotely if the member’s physical absence is due to a medical condition, which is defined as an illness, injury, disability or other health-related condition.

These circumstances (2. A. and B.) apply to individual members, and only those members may participate remotely. The other members of the TADL Board must be physically present to participate. 

C. The TADL Board may meet remotely in the event of a declared Statewide or local state of emergency or state of disaster that would risk the personal health or safety of the public or members of the public body if the scheduled meeting location is within the area affected by the declared emergency or disaster or a member of the TADL Board resides in an area affected by the declared emergency or disaster.

3. After January 1, 2022 (or such other date as established by the Michigan Open Meetings Act or other law or order):

The member’s physical absence is due to military duty.  This circumstance applies to individual members, and only those members may participate remotely. The other TADL Board members or committee members must be physically present to participate.

II. The following procedures shall be used for any remote meeting:

1. Notice of the meeting shall be posted as follows:

A. The Library Director or designee shall post on the homepage of TADL’s website in a conspicuous location and at the Woodmere branch of the TADL Library, the following notice of the public meeting at least 18 hours in advance of the meeting:

a. An explanation of why the Board or committee is meeting remotely.

b. Contact information for all members attending remotely along with information about how the public may contact the member(s) to provide input on any business that will come before the Board or its committees.

c. The dial-in conference number or other necessary information for members of the public to utilize to access the meeting remotely.

d. The agenda for the meeting at least 18 hours prior to the meeting.

e. Procedures by which persons with disabilities may participate in the meeting.

B. If any meeting includes a public hearing, all material that will be considered by the Board or committee at the public hearing shall be posted or linked on the homepage of TADL’s website in a conspicuous location as well as available for inspection at the Woodmere branch, not less than 18 hours prior to the public hearing or as otherwise required by law.  This provision shall not apply to written public comments received by the Board or committee for the public hearing.

2 The technology being utilized shall allow the Board Member to see and communicate with any Board Member in attendance and any member of the public or staff attending and shall allow any Board Member, any member of the public, or staff attending to see the Board Member and communicate with the Board Member who is attending remotely.  An exception to this rule shall be made for any Board Member attending remotely if it is not practicable for the Board Member to utilize video technology.  In that case, a Board Member attending remotely may participate by technology that allows the Board Member to communicate with any other Board Member in attendance and any member of the public or staff attending and shall allow any Board Member, any member of the public, or staff attending to communicate with the Board Member who is attending remotely.

3. A Board Member’(s) remote attendance pursuant to this Policy shall be considered attendance for the purpose of establishing a quorum.

4. Any vote by a Board Member participating remotely pursuant to this Policy shall be counted in the total number of votes for any matter and shall not be held invalid for the reason that it was cast by a Board Member remotely.

5. If any member is participating remotely, all votes on any matter shall be taken by roll call vote.

6. For closed sessions conducted with any Board Member participating remotely, each Board Member attending remotely shall not allow anyone else to hear or view the closed session. All Board Members attending remotely shall affirm, before the closed session begins, that they are in compliance with this section.

7. Emails, texting, or other forms of electronic communication by or between Board Members during the meeting shall not be allowed.  

8. If an email, text or other form of electronic communication is received by a Board Member attending remotely, the email, text, or other electronic communication shall be read by the Board Member receiving the communication during the meeting.

9. A Board Member attending remotely shall disclose any person who is participating in the meeting in the same room or vicinity as the Board Member attending remotely, and, if attending remotely for a purpose other than for military duty, the member’s physical location by stating the county, city, township or village and state or country from which they are attending remotely.  This disclosure shall be included within the meeting minutes. 

10. If a Board Member will be attending a meeting remotely, the agenda shall include the method that the public may utilize to contact the Board Member attending remotely to provide input to the Board Member on any business that will come before the Library Board at the meeting.  The agenda with such information shall be posted and made available to the public at least 18 hours before any meeting where a Board Member will be attending remotely.

11. Immediately after calling a remote meeting of the TADL Board or committee to order, the chair of the meeting shall insure that the dial-in number for the public or other means for the public to attend the meeting remotely is working.  If the dial-in number or other means of attending the meeting remotely is not working, the meeting shall be immediately adjourned by the chair of the meeting without any decision or deliberation on any matter.

12. If the dial-in number or other means of conducting the meeting remotely is working, attendance shall be taken for all persons attending, including members of the public if applicable.  If the number of persons in attendance, including the TADL Board or committee members, exceeds the capacity of the remote meeting method, the meeting shall be immediately adjourned without deliberation or a decision on any matter except to adjourn the meeting.  If members of the public remotely join the meeting during the course of the meeting, they will be asked, but not required, to identify themselves and shall be added to the public attendance list for the meeting.  No member of the public shall be required to identify themselves except as necessary to permit the person to participate in public comment.

13. If any member of the public is attending a remote meeting remotely, each member of the public shall be provided an opportunity to provide public comment during the public comment portion of the agenda and prior to TADL Board or committee action on any matter requiring a public hearing.  

14. The opportunity for public comment shall be given by the chair of the meeting or such other person as designated by the chair asking each individual attending by name whether they have any public comment (the “Roll Call Method”) or such other method to ensure each member of the public attending has an opportunity to provide public comment as allowed by the remote meeting platform being utilized. 

A. Roll Call Method.  If the Roll Call Method is utilized, the chair of the meeting or person designated by the chair shall not move to the next name or person for public comment unless the person verbally confirms that they have no comment or there is no response after at least thirty (30) seconds.  At the conclusion of the Roll Call Method, the chair or person designated by the chair will inquire whether there is any further public comment of any member of the public attending that had not been called.  Any member of the public not already called desiring to give public comment shall be permitted to provide public comment.

B. Other Method.  If another method for providing public comment is utilized as allowed by the remote meeting platform, the chair or person designated by the chair shall utilize such methods as necessary to ensure all members of the public attending the meeting have an opportunity to provide public comment and shall not close public comment until the chair or person designated by the chair has ascertained that no member of the public has any further public comment.

15. The chair of the meeting shall control the order and duration of any public comment subject to appeal. The chair of the meeting shall have the authority to limit and terminate any public comment that becomes disruptive, obscene, unduly repetitive, or impedes the orderly progress of the meeting. 

16. If any member of the public is attending a remote meeting of the Board or committee, and a closed session is called by the TADL Board or committee as permitted by the Open Meetings Act, a separate call in number or other electronic means of remotely participating shall be available for the TADL Board or committee to utilize for a closed session that is not available to the public, the chair of the meeting shall clearly indicate at what point in the agenda the closed session will occur, the projected length of the closed session, that the public will not be able to hear the TADL Board or committee or provide comment during the closed session, and the TADL Board or committee shall return to the public meeting following closed session to adjourn the meeting or take other action as necessary.

III. The following procedures shall be used when any member of the Board or a committee is attending a meeting of the Board or committee at a non-remote meeting of the Board or committee:  

When one or more members are participating remotely in a non-remote meeting of the TADL Board or committee as authorized by this Resolution or the Open Meetings Act, the procedures as set forth in Section II shall apply as applicable.

New Policy Adopted October 15, 2012; Revised December 17, 2020