City council can now attend meetings by phone

Photo courtesy Sweetness46 at English Wikipedia

The Moab City Council passed an ordinance that will allow council members to call into meetings either by phone or otherwise electronically, following the lead of the Grand County Council and other public boards in the area.

The ordinance was passed during a regular meeting Tuesday, May 14, by a vote of three to two and will allow City Council members to participate and even vote during council meetings remotely.

Council Members Tawny Knuteson-Boyd and Rani Derasary voted against the measure. During discussion, Knuteson-Boyd expressed hesitations about letting council members call in to meetings and that they might abuse the privilege.

A last-minute change to the ordinance will disallow council members from calling in to closed sessions due to concerns shared by all council members that allowing call-ins to such meetings could potentially create legal issues for the city.

What the ordinance did not change is that a quorum of the council (i.e. three or more members) must be physically present for the meeting to get started, and the chair of the meeting must be in the room to lead the meeting.