The Board of Selectmen says it's OK for town boards to have a member participate in a meeting even if the member is not physically at the meeting.
Using meeting technologies, a board can now allow a member to be at a different location and still debate issues and vote. That includes participating in executive sessions as long as the member is in alone in a room.
The member must request permission in writing to the chairman of the board, asking to be allowed to participate in the meeting from a remote location. That request must be made at least a week in advance. And the person participating remotely cannot be used to create a quorum.
The reasons allowed for being away and participating are:
- Personal injury or disability,
- An emergency,
- Military service,
- Geographical distance.
Town Administrator Thomas Younger said permission will not be granted just because someone wants to attend a Celtics game. And it will be limited to two or three times a year, he said.