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Resolution to allow phone call township meetings.
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Cindy Riker
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2007 7:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Teleconferencing is a sign of the times. If it weren't for teleconferencing, high speed internet and other technology, hundreds of companies would be unable to conduct business. And I would not be able to work from BBI. I am all for the township investigating this possibility. It will be beneficial to multiple people, not just the board members.
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Ron Petersen
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2007 7:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I realiize that teleconferencing is now and the future in the "Big Picture", But It almost seems like on "Boblo Island" it is a way of being able to go to meetings without actually having to face someone!!!!! Wink
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Conis
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2007 9:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I guess I must be missing something.

I don't disagree for one second that this technology is NOW and totally doable. I just wonder how it might be structured to keep things under control?

In a conventional meeting, everyone takes their turn when permitted to do so. As Mike pointed out... "someone sitting under a palm tree with a margurita" What if it is his 11th margurita and he wants to get everybody told? How do you make a heckler hang up? How would you even know for certain who it was? or do anything about it if you did? At a face to face meeting, people attending are responsible for what they say and how they act. I can just see 25 people having a telecon arguement. I'd like to have a movie of it!

Why not equip a PC with a webcam and use one of the IM programs (like Yahoo, MS-IM, AOL etc) At least there would be some log in required and some remedy if a viewer-participant went over the top. Get sound, video, type in comments. The works. This really isn't high tech.

All you need is a current PC and a decent internet connection. Which is what we use to communicate, anyway.
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Squeaky
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2007 12:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cindy thumbs_up! And yes it would be beneficial to everyone. And Conis you have a great idea. Bet it could be done. Just think Mike, you could sit back ( on the beach ) and let the phone do the job or the web cam. We would get the meetings first hand. Not all bad!
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Kevin Gibbons
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2007 12:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That is a good idea then we could get rid of the township hall we wouldn't need it. We could get drunk and tend the meetings no one would no. And if you don't like what you are hearing just hang them up. You wouldn't need a quarum to run the meetings anymore. Instead of having 50-60 people at the meetings you could have what 3000 or 4000. That should help get things done. It would only take a week to have a meeting instead of a evening.
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Conis
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2007 12:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maybe CNN would cover it and Larry King could be the moderator?
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mikewhite
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2007 2:06 pm    Post subject: virtual presence Reply with quote

I've got a question Point. You apparently are well read on the subject of teleconferences. Are there any documents that address the subject of quorums and must you be present physically to have a quarum or can you count toward a quorum by only having a virtual presence? I have gone through a lot of opinions and documents and the open meetings act and I haven't been able to find a direct answer to that question. Please direct us to that information.

I'm sorry that I equated you with Loren, but you do a good job of expressing his opinions so well. You must be close to him. I was hoping you were Loren. I've have a hope that township officials would use this site to express their opinions and get opinions from the people they represent. I can't even get my wife to do it, so my hope may never happen.

Another question. If this is so common in government, and everyone is doing it, why is a resolution even needed? It seems that the township could just start doing it if there is no problem whatsoever. This is not going to end up being some sort of test case in the courts is it?
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Kevin Gibbons
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2007 3:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't think this is a good idea for the 5 board members. But it could be a good idea for tax payers to listen and see the meeting. But I don't think the tax payer should be able to talk or give an opion there. Number 1 there would be to many and the meeting would be a desaster. Could you see 3-4 thousand people arguing over issues.
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Squeaky
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2007 3:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kevin, 3000-4000 people arguing? Laughing What a mess that would be.
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Point
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2007 4:58 pm    Post subject: Teleconference calls Reply with quote

Mike,

Before we go any further on this issue, let me explain to the people that the only parties on the conference telephone calls would be the board members or appointed officials that are not physically present at an open meeting but are needed to make up a quorum. The public is welcome to attend the meeting at the posted location, as stipulated by the MOMA.

In Michigan, you can research case law known as Goode vs DSS. It deals with the teleconference issue and using it to establish a quorum. You don't need a physical presence of a quorum at the posted location, which is why the virtual meetings are becoming acceptable. With such a mobile society, the teleconferencing makes it easier and quicker to get a quorum together in situations that may need immediate attention. Other states that the Michigan Open Meetings Act is similiar to is the state of California and Illinois. California has the Bagley-Keene Open Meeting Acts of 2004. That would be helpful to you. It clearly defines the issues that you question.

The reason local governments adopt resolutions for this issue is to outline how they are going to do conduct the meeting and show that it is done under the guidelines of the OMA. In some cases, like in Oklahoma, they have limited the use of teleconference for certain reasons, ie emergencies or whatever. So a local ordinance would benefit the public and the local government. I think the township has probably already gotten a legal opinion from the township attorney. If not they should get one. Your wife, being on the township board could also contact the MTA and get a written opinion. Usually written opinions will provide the reader with case law that supports the opinion. You are worried about test cases in court. Goode vs DSS and others were just that.

The reason teleconference meetings (virtual meetings) are not clearly written in the Open Meetings Acts is because the modern technology was not available when the feds and states adopted them (1970's) It the opinions of the State Attorney Generals that you should research. Like I said, you could ask the board to provide you with a copy of the legal opinion that they should have gotten if they are considering the adoption of an ordinance.

No apologies about Loren. I hardly know him or his wife other than to say hello in passing. I will say that I believe that he is very professional and respects the fact that he needs to conduct himself in a proper manner. Although you would like the elected officials to use this site, they are wise in saying nothing. Their comments can be used against them and they just may be out of order offering an opinion outside of the meetings. If I was on the township board I wouldn't express my opinion on this site either. If they want to read the opinions of the people from this website, they are at liberty to do so without making any comments. Your wife must be aware of this, because she refuses to use it too. That's what open meetings are for.

Good luck in your research. I have said all that I am going say about this issue because it is the township officials responsibility to inform their public of what is taking place on the island. I won't interfere with their job. I will tell you that I have seen this in action many times in the major metropolitan Detroit area. I can see it would work well on the island too because of our unique situation.
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Al'sOtherSister
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2007 5:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Point said
Quote:
Their comments can be used against them and they just may be out of order offering an opinion outside of the meetings.


This seems a reasonable reason why they would not come on here and say something...
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Conis
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2007 6:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
This seems a reasonable reason why they would not come on here and say something...


Because it might be taken out of context, scrutinized and warped to the max by extended discussion? Sort of like whispering a story around the campfire. By the time it makes it all the way around, it is something totally different.

I would like to see the minutes VERBATUM published on line, better yet, an audio or video version. We have every right to know what goes on and is said, in detail, at BBI townhall meetings. I am not talking about a summarized transcript, but all if it.

I didn't get it with the telecon thing. If it is limited to board members, only, why not?
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Squeaky
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2007 7:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I say that what should be said should be said at the township meetings and by the township board members. Also those that attend the township meetings, not hashed out here by the members and whomever. If that was the case then why have township meetings? Was not there some kind of problem last year about things that were said and or discussed by members ouside of the meetings or whatever? Mike, you should be glad for your wife's decision as to not coming on here and making comments. I personnally think that the township members are acting very professional. I give them lots of credit for all that they do. I do totally agree with the last post from Conis on audio, etc. We do have the right to hear, see and know what is said and not said at these meetings, but do give these members some kind of credit. The Island would not be where it is today if it were not for people like these township board members. Going forward is much better than going backwards or not going at all.
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Point
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2007 8:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Public board meetings are recorded and minutes must be kept. A copy of the tape and/or minutes may be requested from the board clerk. They must provide a copy under the Freedom of Information Act. A reasonable fee may be charged to the public. Some jurisdictions post their minutes on their website. Unfortunately no law requires verbatum be kept or published. The transcription of same would be very time consuming, hence why a tape is available.
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Conis
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2007 9:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Point wrote:
Public board meetings are recorded and minutes must be keep. A copy of the tape and/or minutes may be requested from the board clerk. They must provide a copy under the Freedom of Information Act. A reasonable fee may be charged to the public. Some jurisdictions post their minutes on their website. Unfortunately no law requires verbatum be kept or published. The transcription of same would be very time consuming, hence why a tape ia available.


OK. I am not a twp meeeting newbee.

To conform to the law, why is it a 3 hour meeting can be abbreviated to a 3 paragraph summarized transcript? Or a "reasonable cost" for a poorly duped inaudible audio tape is $20.

Should I translate the reasons, further?
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theeislandgirl
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2007 12:48 am    Post subject: Point Reply with quote

Point to Point is .. What is your Point any way ??? To be heard and not seen ??? No name .. No point

I agree with Ron Peterson on this one ..they would not be face to face .. Oh that is not good ..

Kevin .. I liked your suggestions .. We are on the same page most of the time ..

And Mike my Dear cousin .. It was great that you started this post ..
It gave us all something to think on and share our views ..
..
And all the rest of you I enjoy reading your posts !
If we all did not come to this island site .. To share ..Then what would be the Point to even come on here ???

~~Connie Faye ~~
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Kevin Gibbons
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2007 8:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That was a good explanation Point. I still don't think i agree with it I do think it could get out of hand. And I do think it would be a good idea to post the minutes on this website or the township website. But it could work very well also so what do you do I guess try it if it gets out of hand stop it. I don't always agree with the township board but I do support them. They are doing a job that no matter what is done half the people are mad at you. It is not fun and games.
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mikewhite
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2007 3:47 pm    Post subject: Confusion with MTA Reply with quote

I guess MTA is confused. My wife did contact them and they emailed the opinion that a physical quorum was needed to conduct the meeting. Loren would not except that opinion. I guess he had also gotten opinions from MTA and the Twp. lawyer that support the idea. Things like that are what creat turmoil.

I know that teleconferencing is going to happen. It will be very convenient for the township. I hope it works out OK. I still do not like the idea though.
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Squeaky
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2007 4:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It sounds like there is STILL resentment towards certain members of the township. Get over it and lets work together instead of complaining. Bet things would go so much further. Rolling Eyes Try it! Let's get positive!
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mikewhite
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2007 7:12 am    Post subject: Resentment Reply with quote

Yes, I have resentment over an entirely different issue. This is not related. I am looking at this teleconferencing thing as something happening nationwide that I do not like. It is so seductive for the officials. The public is not asked what they want, the people that the officials supposedly represent.

Lets say that I was at a meeting of the Traverse City, City Council and they had one person there and all the rest were on speakerphone, I would not like it. I went to the US capital one time and was in the house or senate chamber. There was maybe two people sitting there but a vote was being taken on some important issue. A tally board on the wall showed the total votes. I didn't like it. I have been trying to think of a word to describe how it makes me feel. It is so IMPERSONAL. It creates a greater barrior between the government and the governed.

Getting back to the resentment thing. This is how I put that in another topic:

Posted: Tue Jan 23, 2007 10:40 am Post subject: Respect

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Quote:
I want to clarify something. I think I have made myself clear about how I feel about Loren's actions on the township concerning how he has handled the "planning problem". That does not mean that I find everything that he or others do on the township to be wrong. This township is doing many things right. I have great respect for anyone who holds a public position. They expose themselves to controversy. They, on the other hand, should also respect the opinions of others. Opinions of others should be carefully considered.

I do believe that this township needs to go back and review the original promises made to the landowners. Take a look at themselves and ask themselves if the controversies they hear might have some merit.

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theeislandgirl
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2007 12:46 am    Post subject: not Reply with quote

Telecoferencing on the island ???? Not !!!
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Squeaky
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2007 3:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How about Township Meetings on the web? I went to a township meeting last night and they put theirs on their township website. Nothing was nor is missed. Word for word and even everyone's faces on there that is involved, township members and people that speak. Excellent! No one, nothing is left out. Anyone that wants to know what goes on, what is said, what is voted on, etc. has the opportunity to see it. Think about it! This is the now. This way no one has to report as to what was or was not said, what was done nor what was not done, whatever. Would see and hear it right up front.
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Kevin Gibbons
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2007 3:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Squeaky now that sounds good to me. The twp now has there web-site so they can do this.
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Conis
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2007 4:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Squeaky wrote:
How about Township Meetings on the web? I went to a township meeting last night and they put theirs on their township website. Nothing was nor is missed. Word for word and even everyone's faces on there that is involved, township members and people that speak. Excellent! No one, nothing is left out. Anyone that wants to know what goes on, what is said, what is voted on, etc. has the opportunity to see it. Think about it! This is the now. This way no one has to report as to what was or was not said, what was done nor what was not done, whatever. Would see and hear it right up front.


Don't need anything more than a high speed internet connect. This means the twp would probably have to invest in a net-sat dish. A $39.95 web cam, Yahoo IM and up and running.

Ever watch the kids work this stuff? 20 web cams screens open... massive video conferences going on. How they keep track? I get a headache thinking about it. It is cool technology and affordable to anyone. Simple to use, too.

Even a way to record it and play it back. I am not totally up on this stuff and seldom use it but have it installed on my PC. Put it on a cd or dvd, watch it later on TV
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theeislandgirl
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2007 4:19 pm    Post subject: site Reply with quote

How do I get to the township website ???

Thanks !!!
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