Dodge County Board Supervisor Wants To Vote While At Meetings Virtually

(Juneau) A Dodge County Board Supervisor wants the option to attend a limited number of meetings virtually. Currently, county board rules allow members to take part by either telephone or other electronic means, but they are not considered present and do not have a vote.

During the Dodge County Board’s Executive Committee meeting this week, Supervisor Donna Maly said she wants to change that. She says there are a number of reasons that people cannot make the meetings. Maly adds that this will not be an “open door” for supervisors to miss meetings. She notes that there would be a requirement to notify the board chairman at least 48 hours ahead of time asking permission to attend virtually.

Maly’s proposal would allow board members to attend a meeting virtually three times in a calendar year, however they could not participate in closed session and they would not receive a per diem. The proposed rule change also excludes committee meetings as members would still need to appear in-person to have a vote.

Supervisor David Guckenberger says this rule change could lead to issues with establishing or even challenging a quorum. He says he can determine if a quorum exists by looking across at the other members present at the meeting. Guckenberger says (quote) “visually I can do that but virtually I cannot.” Dodge County Corp Counsel Kim Nass says the rules can be written that would require board members attending virtually to always have their cameras on.

The Executive Committee backed Maly’s proposed rule change which now goes to the county board for a final vote.