By now most local governments should be conducting their meetings remotely. The Governor suspended certain provisions of the Open Meetings Law in Executive Order 202.1, permitting public bodies to meet and take action without permitting in public in-person access, and also permitting such meetings to be held remotely by conference call or similar service, provided that the public has the ability to view or listen to such proceeding, and that such meetings are recorded and later transcribed. These modifications were originally set to expire on April 11, 2020, but were subsequently further extended by Executive Order 202.14 through May 7, 2020.
On April 9, 2020, the Governor issued Executive Order 202.15, which postponed certain public hearings without prejudice. With respect to public hearings, the Order provides as follows:
Any local official, state official or local government or school, which, by virtue of any law has a public hearing scheduled or otherwise required to take place in April or May of 2020 shall be postponed, until June 1, 2020, without prejudice, however such hearing may continue if the convening public body or official is able to hold the public hearing remotely, through use of telephone conference, video conference, and/or other similar service.
Information about this and other COVID-19 Executive Orders may be found here.
If you would like to schedule a consultation to discuss the the impact of this Executive Order or other municipal legal matters, please contact Peter J. Weishaar, Esq. at firstname.lastname@example.org or 585.512.3542. Peter’s municipal practice includes the ongoing representation of planning and zoning boards, as well as the representation of fire districts and other municipalities on an ongoing basis and as special counsel in litigation matters.
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