The electronic age of meetings

NEWS/ CITY HALL — Kamloops City council will take another step into the digital age Tuesday if it approves electronic participation in meetings.

First meeting of new City council on Tuesday.

City council will consider limited electronic attendance at some meetings.

Last July, during a controversial debate over a shortage of quorums at Heritage Commission meetings, council was asked to consider letting commission members take part in meetings by telephone or video conferencing.

A staff report coming back to council Tuesday cautions about potential issues with the practice but says most other municipalities surveyed allow electronic attendance at meetings.

It says some City meeting rooms would be able to accommodate the technology but not all. Some could accommodate audio only, while others could be used with both audio and visual.

Staff also recommends that electronic attendance not be allowed at in-camera meetings because confidentiality can’t be guaranteed. The report also suggests limiting the number of members who can take part in any one meeting by electronic means.

And, any costs associated with sitting in on a meeting via laptop, cellphone or other electronic means would be the responsibility of the member.

The report doesn’t take a position on the issue, recommending only that council either approve electronic attendance, or simply receive the report for information.

Councillors began a pilot project using iPads for their meeting agendas a year ago and have since adopted the method for all council members.

About Mel Rothenburger (9367 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

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