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Selectmen Authorize Remote Participation at Public Meetings
On November 28, the Board of Selectmen voted to authorize members of all town boards and committees to participate remotely if certain situations otherwise preclude their attendance.  The Attorney General has issued regulations covering the circumstances under which public officials can participate in discussion and vote as members of multi-member public bodies.  The regulations require the board of selectmen in a town to authorize the activity for all boards and commissions.

Effective January 3, 2012, members of town boards and committees can participate and vote by teleconference, audio-conference or other means that allows all persons present, including the audience and the member participating remotely, to hear the proceedings.  Acceptable reasons for remote participation under the regulations include personal illness, personal disability, emergency, military service and geographic distance.  

All votes taken at such meetings where a member participates remotely must be taken by roll call vote and a quorum of members must otherwise be present, not including a remote participant.  No remote participant can chair a meeting.

There will be a brief training and question & answer session on Monday, December 12, 2011 at 6:15 p.m. in the Selectmen's Meeting Room for any interested member of a town board or committee.

The complete text of regulations can be found by visiting the Open Meeting Law information under Frequently Requested Information on the home page.  The regulations are codified at 940 CMR 29.10 (see also Attorney General's webpage at

Fred Turkington
Town Administrator