Board of Directors Meeting
A meeting of the Board of Directors of the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District will be held on Friday, May 22, 2020, at 9:00 a.m. Because of Executive Order 2020-01D, issued March 9, 2020 and the Orders of the Ohio Department of Health and pursuant to emergency legislation passed by the Ohio Legislature, this meeting will be conducted through electronic technology. Members of the public wishing to observe the meeting may do so by registering on www.mwcd.org/registration. Members of the public wishing to submit comments prior to the meeting may do so by emailing comments to email@example.com, prior to 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, May 21, 2020. Comments will not be accepted after 5:00 p.m., May 21. Comments will be provided to the Board of Directors for their information and will be directed to the appropriate staff members for follow-up, if appropriate.
Guidance for Virtual Board Meetings
Pursuant to emergency legislation recently passed by the Ohio Legislature, the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District Board of Directors has scheduled a public meeting of the Board of Directors. A copy of the notice of the public meeting appears at the end of this Guidance. As stated in that notice the meeting will be conducted through electronic technology. Members of the Board may attend the meeting in person or by means of electronic technology. Members of the public will be able to observe and hear the meeting while it is in progress. Prior to the meeting, the public may submit comments that will be available to the Board at the meeting. Comments will also be directed to the appropriate staff member for follow-up, if appropriate. There will not be an in-person public audience; the virtual audience will not be able to interact with the Board meeting as it occurs.
No electronic or other sidebars: To ensure compliance with Ohio’s Open Meetings law, please do not discuss any pending matters with the other Board Members outside of what is observable and can be heard by members of the public who are observing the meeting via the internet. Courts have previously found even informal communications, such as passing notes and whispering before, during or after a meeting, to be a violation of Ohio’s Open Meetings laws when the informal communications were related to matters before the public body. However, please note, questions or feedback regarding technical issues setting up the meeting or casual conversation that is not related to matters pending before the Board would not be prohibited.
Recommended to use District-issued devices: If possible, please use a District-issued computer or telephone to participate in the meeting. Use of your personal computer and/or telephone for official duties may subject those devices to search for public records or a discovery request. District staff members will assist you in setting up the device in advance of the meeting and in the use of the platform being used to conduct the meeting.
Technical issues impacting the meeting: When experiencing technical issues with video or audio quality, the Board may need to pause to fix those technical difficulties. A staff member (“Moderator”) will attend the meeting to help with any such problems and to facilitate the use of technology. The Moderator will manage the video screens so that staff members addressing the Board are visible.
Video/Tele-conference Protocols: Anyone talking or making a motion needs to identify themselves. Extra effort needs to be made not to talk over others. If one speaker finds that a previous speaker has continued to speak, the second speaker should “yield the right of way” to the prior speaker. For votes, it’s especially important to be sure it’s clear who makes the motion and who seconds it, number of ‘yeas’ and ‘nays’ and abstentions. A roll call vote for each item should be considered. If you are attending by video connection, please raise your hand when you wish to speak so the chair may recognize you.
If you have headphones or earbuds and use them it will reduce ambient noise and feedback. If you “mute” your microphone whenever you are not speaking, this will also help audio quality.
When you “dial in” at the beginning of the meeting, clearly identify yourself. If you lose your connection, immediately call the Moderator on their mobile phone.
The Moderator will assist with Executive Sessions that will be limited to the Board and designated other persons.