TOWN OF RICHMOND, ST. CROIX COUNTY, WISCONSIN
AN ORDINANCE TO ADOPT
REMOTE MEETING ATTENDANCE PROVISIONS
SECTION 1 – TITLE AND PURPOSE
This ordinance is entitled the Town of Richmond Ordinance to Adopt Remote Meeting Attendance Provisions. The purpose of this ordinance is to permit the remote attendance of Town meetings.
SECTION 2 – REMOTE ATTENDANCE
- Remote attendance permitted. When a meeting is held in person, the Town Chair or designee may allow one or more members of the body, or any Town employee, officer, consultant, contractor, or any other person, to appear at the meeting, as defined in § 19.82, Wis. Stats., by telephonic, video conference, or other remote method of participation. Upon direction of the Town Chair or designee, the body may on a case-by-case basis conduct an entirely virtual meeting, in which no member of the body is present at Town hall, subject to the requirements of this section. This includes a state of emergency or public health emergency being proclaimed by a federal, state, or local authority; a lack of quorum being able to be physically present in a Town-owned building; or other unique circumstance.
- Notice required. Any member who is unable to be physically present at an in-person meeting of the Board may notify the Town Clerk no later than 4:00 p.m. on the day prior to the meeting that he or she intends to participate in a meeting by telephonic or electronic means unless advance notice is impractical due to an emergency. If the Town Clerk receives the member’s request in a timely manner, he or she shall attempt to facilitate the request by contacting the member in a manner during the Board meeting that allows the member to participate in the proceedings. The member shall be entitled to participate and vote and shall count toward a quorum.
- Virtual meeting. The public shall be given access to the system implementing the virtual meeting platform. Information about access to the meeting shall be provided to citizens in a timely manner as part of the meeting agenda notice in a specific and conspicuous manner. Best efforts shall be used to ensure that members of the public lacking access to the virtual meeting platform are provided alternative reasonable methods to attend.
- Technical requirements and malfunctions. Each person attending remotely is responsible for his or her audio and internet connections; no action shall be invalidated on the grounds that the loss of, or poor quality of, a member’s individual connection prevented participation in the meeting.
- Forced disconnections. The Town Chair may cause or direct the disconnection or muting of a member’s connection if it is causing undue interference with the meeting. The Chair’s decision to do so, which is subject to debatable appeal that can be made by any member, shall be announced during the meeting and recorded in the minutes.
- Proper equipment. Appropriate equipment shall be used so that the attending public can readily observe or hear such person’s participation in the meeting.
- This subsection shall also apply to other Town committees and commissions as defined and outlined in their respective resolutions.
- The several sections of this subsection are declared to be severable. If any section or portion thereof shall be declared by a court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid, unlawful, or unenforceable, such decision shall apply only to the specific section or portion thereof directly specified in the decision and shall not affect the validity of any other provisions, sections or portions thereof of the subsection. The remainder of the subsection shall remain in full force and effect. Any other ordinances whose terms conflict with the provisions of this subsection are hereby repealed as to those terms that conflict.
SECTION 3 – EFFECTIVE DATE
This ordinance shall become effective upon its publication and/or posting in the manner set forth in § 60.80, Wis. Stats.
Adopted this 8th day of February, 2024.
Gary Knutson, Town Chair
Attest: Patrick Earley, Town Clerk
Voted in favor: 5
Voted against: 0