Mattapoisett Selectmen discuss remote participation for meetings

By Georgia Sparling | Feb 15, 2017

Mattapoisett — Selectmen decided to table a vote on whether or not to allow board and committee members to attend meetings remotely.

Several years ago the provision was added to the state’s Open Meeting laws. It is limited to members who have a “personal illness, personal disability, emergency, military service or geographic distance.” Additionally, a quorum must be physically present at the meeting, and there is a list of approved media that can be used.

“I think it’s a good idea that we do this. People are very busy today and have very busy schedules,” Town Administrator Mike Gagne said.

Selectman Paul Silva, however, wasn’t ready to take a vote.

“I’m not sure about it to be honest with you,” he said. “I’m afraid of people being selected to a board and then not being around for three or four months and doing it [by] remote control.”

Silva wanted to think about the option before making a decision, so Selectmen postponed the vote until March.

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