The following communication was distributed by the Suffolk County Village Officials Association (SCVOA) to Village Mayors and its members, on March 26, 2020. Our Village is following these guidelines.
On March 12, the Governor issued Executive Order No. 202.1 suspending, among other things, certain provisions of Open Meetings Law (the “OML”) for all local municipalities. Specifically, the Order permits a public body the ability to hold a meeting without permitting in-person attendance by public body members and without in-person access by the public to the meeting. Thus, the Order allows for meetings to be held by conference call.
The caveats to the Governor’s relaxation of the OML are that the public must have the ability to view or listen to such meeting, the meeting is recorded, and “later transcribed.” So, for now, conference call-in Board meetings are legal if the three conditions are met.
They would similarly be legal if there were a failed, but “good faith” effort, to meet the three conditions and the decisions made at the meeting needed to be made and could not reasonably have been adjourned.