Boards & Committees
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Videoconferencing of Meetings
On June 1, 2022, unanimously approved a Local Law regarding the use of videoconferencing at public meetings. They determined that videoconferencing is a valuable tool that has the potential to increase public engagement with City processes, it reduces burdens on City staff, and provides flexibility for members of public bodies if extraordinary circumstances or emergencies prevent in-person attendance at public meetings.
Based on their findings, they adopted a uniform set of written procedures governing videoconferencing that is consistent with sections 103 and 103-a of the public officers law. The following are excerpts of those written procedures. The full text of Local Law 2022-05 can be found here.
A. Each and every public body is authorized, but not required, to use videoconferencing to conduct its business as permitted by sections 103 and 103-a of the public officers law and pursuant to the requirements of Local Law 2022-05.
B. The following requirements and procedures shall apply whenever videoconferencing is employed by a public body.
- (1) At least the minimum number of members of the public body necessary to constitute a quorum of the public body must be physically present at the meeting.
- (2) Each member of the public body must be physically present unless such member is unable to be physically present due to extraordinary circumstances, which shall include but not be limited to disability, illness, caregiving responsibilities, or any other significant or unexpected factor or event.
- (3) The chair or other presiding officer of the public body shall determine whether extraordinary circumstances are present, except that any member of the public body disagreeing with the determination of the chair or presiding offer may move for a vote to override the determination of the chair or presiding officer.
- (4) Except in the case of executive sessions, members of the public body attending by videoconference shall be able to be heard, seen, and identified while the meeting is being conducted, including but not limited to any motions, proposals, resolutions, and any other matter formally discussed or voted upon. A member attending by videoconference shall be entitled to participate in the meeting, cast votes, and take any such other action as if the member were physically present.
- (5) The minutes of any meeting involving videoconferencing shall include which, if any, members participated remotely and shall be made available to the public pursuant to section one hundred six of the public officers law.
- (6) If videoconferencing is used to conduct a meeting, the public notice for the meeting shall inform the public that videoconferencing will be used, where the public can view and/or participate in such meeting, where required documents and records will be posted or available and identify the physical location(s) for the meeting where the public can attend in person.
- (7) Each meeting conducted using videoconferencing shall be recorded, and such recordings shall be posted or linked on the public website of the public body within five business days following the meeting.
- (8) The public body shall not be required to record or transcribe any executive session portion of the meeting or any other portion of the meeting which the public is not entitled to attend.
- (9) If videoconferencing is used to conduct a meeting, the public body shall provide the opportunity for members of the public to view such meeting via video, and, where public comment or participation in the meeting is authorized or required, to comment or participate via videoconference in real time. Videoconferencing, where employed, shall afford the same opportunity for public participation or testimony as in-person participation or testimony.
- (10) Staff members and any other participants in a meeting employing videoconferencing may be permitted, at the sole discretion of the chair or other presiding officer, to participate, comment, and/or testify by videoconference or through such other remote means as enable the participant to be contemporaneously heard during the meeting.
- (11) The public body shall be authorized, but not required, to adopt additional written procedures governing member and public attendance consistent with this Local Law.