Friday, April 6, 2007

Can just 1 person be a ?board??

Express Staff Writer

Although it's not likely to happen, the Friedman Memorial Airport Authority now can hold official meetings with only one member present in the flesh, while the other four members could call in by phone.

This was authorized Tuesday night when the airport board changed its by-laws at the recommendation of airport attorney Barry Luboviski to avoid quorum problems.

A quorum for the five-member airport board to carry out actions is four members.

What happens if one member is on vacation and another is ill and cannot attend? The three members present at the meeting site wouldn't meet the by-law standards of a quorum.

Hence, Luboviski reasoned, a quorum would always be available if members could "meet" by telephone—whether on vacation or in the sick bed.

The new by-law, Luboviski said, is a verbatim copy of the state's open meeting law. But Luboviski said he "can't imagine" a situation where four members were absent but participating by telephone while one member conducted the meeting in the conference room of the Old County Courthouse.

The new by-law, incidentally, requires that "communications among members of the board must be audible to the public attending the meeting in person and the members of the board."

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