Amherst Select Board meeting via remote viewing
The epic 5-4 vote of the Charter Commission on Monday night in favor of a Mayor/Council to replace antiquated Select Board/Town Meeting was kind of like the Battle of Midway, a major turning point.
But it would have been far less dramatic if it had been a 4-4 tie.
Which is why the Charter Commission asked our illustrious Select Board back in mid-June to allow them the common sense ability to do "remote participation" via Skype, Facetime, or even old fashioned conference call.
A member can participate and vote on something but they do not count towards a quorum. Thus a 9 member body could not have 5 members participate via remote participation.
The state allowed it back in 2012 and the Regional School Committee started using it years ago.
The diffident Select Board is overly concerned because it's not just something they can grant to a particular committee, otherwise they probably would have instantly granted to the Charter Commission, but it's simply an all-or-nothing declaration.
And apparently they don't overly trust some of our many committees to figure out 21st century technology even though the average 8-tear-old has no problem doing it.
Town Manager Paul Bockelman, no stranger to using social media, will bring back a proposal for their January 9 meeting.
Thus it should be in place for some of the epic Charter Commission island hopping engagements coming up soon where members have already stated they will not be physically able to attend.