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We are awaiting the Governor's signature  - I was informed over the weekend that it would be Today or possibly tomorrow.

Jim Condos
Secretary of State
State of Vermont

Please note that my email address has changed to: [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>.

P: 802.828.2148
sos.vermont.gov<https://sos.vermont.gov/>
Facebook<https://www.facebook.com/SecretaryOfStateJimCondos/> | Twitter<https://twitter.com/VermontSOS>

128 State Street
Montpelier, VT 05633

Notice: By Vermont's public records law, emails (and other documents) acquired/created by a government agency are considered public records and subject to disclosure, unless specifically excluded by the Public Records Act.

From: Vermont Municipal Government Discussion Network <[log in to unmask]> On Behalf Of Amber Holland
Sent: Monday, March 30, 2020 9:49 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Open meeting law

EXTERNAL SENDER: Do not open attachments or click on links unless you recognize and trust the sender.
Any one heard if this was signed or not? We are trying to plan our meeting for Wednesday night....

Thanks,
Amber J Holland
Town Clerk/Treasurer
Town of Readsboro
PO Box 187
301 Phelps Lane<https://maps.google.com/?q=301+Phelps+Lane+Readsboro,+VT+05350&entry=gmail&source=g>
Readsboro, VT 05350<https://maps.google.com/?q=301+Phelps+Lane+Readsboro,+VT+05350&entry=gmail&source=g>
Phone (802) 423-5405
Fax (802) 423-5423

From: Vermont Municipal Government Discussion Network <[log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>> On Behalf Of Condos, Jim
Sent: Friday, March 27, 2020 10:23 AM
To: [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Re: Open meeting law

Robert
Here's the relevant section of what was sent to the Governor's desk yesterday. REMINDER, this only session law - meaning temproray law for this situation.

The law does state that recording must be done for remote meetings of local Legislative bodies (i.e. Select Boards/City Councils) and School Boards.
Our guidance is that it is a good idea to always record these meetings for transparency in this time if you are going remote.

As always, we recommend you consult with your Town's Attorney.
* * * Open Meeting Law * * *
Sec. 5. LEGISLATIVE INTENT; COVID-19 RESPONSE AND OPEN MEETINGS BILL AS PASSED BY THE HOUSE AND THE SENATE
It is the intent of the General Assembly that during the continued spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the State of Vermont public bodies should organize and hold open meetings in a manner that will protect the health and welfare of the public while providing access to the operations of government. Public bodies should meet electronically and provide the public with electronic access to meetings in lieu of a designated physical location. Accordingly, this act sets forth temporary Open Meeting Law procedures in response to COVID-19.

Sec. 6. OPEN MEETING LAW; TEMPORARY SUSPENSION OF DESIGNATED PHYSICAL MEETING LOCATION REQUIREMENTS
(a) Notwithstanding 1 V.S.A.  312(a), during a declared state of emergency under 20 V.S.A. chapter 1 due to COVID-19:
(1) a quorum or more of the members of a public body may attend a regular, special, or emergency meeting by electronic or other means without being physically present at a designated meeting location;
(2) the public body shall not be required to designate a physical meeting location where the public may attend; and
(3) the members and staff of the public body shall not be required to be physically present at a designated meeting location.

(b) When the public body meets electronically under subsection (a) of this section, the public body shall use technology that permits the attendance of the public through electronic or other means. The public body shall allow the public to access the meeting by telephone whenever feasible. The public body shall post information on how the public may access meetings electronically and shall include this information in the published agenda for each meeting. Unless unusual circumstances make it impossible for them to do so, the legislative body of each municipality and each school board shall record its meetings held pursuant to this section.

(c) In the event of a staffing shortage during a declared state of emergency under 20 V.S.A. chapter 1 due to COVID-19, a public body may extend the time limit for the posting of minutes prescribed in 1 V.S.A.  312(b)(2) to not more than 10 days from the date of the meeting

Jim Condos
Secretary of State
State of Vermont

Please note that my email address has changed to: [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>.

P: 802.828.2148
sos.vermont.gov<https://sos.vermont.gov/>
Facebook<https://www.facebook.com/SecretaryOfStateJimCondos/> | Twitter<https://twitter.com/VermontSOS>

128 State Street
Montpelier, VT 05633

Notice: By Vermont's public records law, emails (and other documents) acquired/created by a government agency are considered public records and subject to disclosure, unless specifically excluded by the Public Records Act.

From: Vermont Municipal Government Discussion Network <[log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>> On Behalf Of Robert Vickery
Sent: Friday, March 27, 2020 10:11 AM
To: [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Re: Open meeting law

EXTERNAL SENDER: Do not open attachments or click on links unless you recognize and trust the sender.
Thanks Jim,

Will this include Lister hearing? I am currently coming up with a plan for Colchester and want it to comply.
Also BCA hearing require a site visit, will this requirement be waved?

Robert Vickery
Town of Colchester Assessor


From: Vermont Municipal Government Discussion Network [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Condos, Jim
Sent: Friday, March 27, 2020 9:11 AM
To: [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Re: Open meeting law


*** Warning: This email came from an outside source. It is not internal Town of Colchester email. ***
Lori
We will be putting guidance on our website later today - we are still waiting for the Governor to sign H.681 - it is expected today.

The provision for completely remote meetings includes:

  *   There MUST be a telephone conf line at a minimum for those w/o internet access
  *   And any remote meeting for School Boards and Select Boards MUST be recorded
  *   Our guidance will state that it is a good idea to record any meeting of a public body

Jim Condos
Secretary of State
State of Vermont

Please note that my email address has changed to: [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>.

P: 802.828.2148
sos.vermont.gov<https://sos.vermont.gov/>
Facebook<https://www.facebook.com/SecretaryOfStateJimCondos/> | Twitter<https://twitter.com/VermontSOS>

128 State Street
Montpelier, VT 05633

Notice: By Vermont's public records law, emails (and other documents) acquired/created by a government agency are considered public records and subject to disclosure, unless specifically excluded by the Public Records Act.

From: Vermont Municipal Government Discussion Network <[log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>> On Behalf Of Town of Stamford
Sent: Friday, March 27, 2020 9:04 AM
To: [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Open meeting law

EXTERNAL SENDER: Do not open attachments or click on links unless you recognize and trust the sender.

Hi all,



Does anyone know the status of the Open Meeting Law bill H.681?  Has the Governor signed it into law to suspend the requirement of needing to offer a physical location for public meetings or can we plan meetings completely by teleconference?



Thank you,



Lori


Lori A. Shepard
Stamford Town Clerk
986 Main Road
Stamford, VT 05352
(802) 694-1361
[log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>

Please note that this email message, along with any response or reply, is considered a public record, and thus subject to disclosure under the Vermont Public Records Law (1 V.S.A.  315-320).