The Livingston County Board of Commissioners rules for 2019 are being updated.

A resolution was approved by the General Government & Health and Human Services Committee of the board during a recent meeting. An amendment to the Open Meetings Act took effect in March and the board has been advised to adopt the mandatory requirements. The change relates to commissioners who are unable to physically attend a meeting due to military duty and is reflected in the rules in the “conduct of board meetings” section. It states they shall be permitted to participate in discussion and votes of committee and board meetings by telephone or video conference, provided requirements of the Open Meetings Act are met and a quorum is physically present.

Committee Chair Bob Bezotte tells WHMI they had to amend the rules because of the changes in state law, although the county had basically already embraced it in past practice. Bezotte says they were notified by the county attorney of some changes and basically just came into compliance with the state law. He feels it’s a good thing because if someone is on a board and deployed, they should be able to participate by phone or some other way. Bezotte noted they did have something similar in place and have had past members who participated in such a way but the state has now updated the rules and he certainly agrees with it.

The resolution to amend the 2019 rules was approved unanimously by the committee and heads to the full board for final approval. (JM)