Videoconferencing Guidelines after September 1st

Videoconferencing Guidelines after September 1st

As we approach the September 1st expiration of the Governor’s Emergency Declaration, we have compiled some FAQs on the most common questions we have received. In addtion, we put together an essential “how-to” guide, explaining the bare minimum legal requirements as well as the best practices scenarios.

Click here to download the full guide.

Do board members have to all be in person again?

No. However, the majority of the board members (quorum) must be present in the meeting location as published in the meeting notice. The remaining (non-quorum) members may attend via video conference.

Do we still need a physical meeting location?

Yes. The provision of videoconferencing options does not alter or replace the physical meeting location requirements.

Do we have to provide access to the public for videoconferencing?

No. Though should the governing body decide to provide videoconference access to the board, it is recommended to provide the same access to the public, but is not required.

Do we have to provide the videoconference access information on our Notice of Meetings or Agendas?
No. It is not required to list this information, but it is recommended to include it if the Board wishes to allow the public to attend the meeting via videoconference.

Can we provide access to consultants or vendors for videoconferencing?

Yes, though it is not required. Should the governing body decide to provide videoconference access to board members, it is recommended to provide the same access to the consultants and vendors.

What if one of the board members attending via videoconference drops off during the meeting?
Similar to a board member stepping out of a physical meeting room, in the event a board member drops off the videoconference they are considered absent from that portion of the meeting.

What if one of the consultants or public drops off during the meeting?
There are no stated legal repercussions should a non-board member drop off a videoconference call.

Can board members vote and participate fully if they’re attending via videoconference?
Yes. Board members are considered fully present when attending via videoconference.

This sounds complex, is there a way to outsource these complexities while ensuring compliance?
Yes. If you’d like a turn-key solution there are companies that provide these services.

How much can we expect to spend adding a videoconference option?
The true net cost of this option is generally minimal and can often be fully offset by savings to drive time and mileage for consultants and board members. The actual expenses vary by size of board and meeting space, but average between $250-$500 per meeting.

Are we required to retain copies of the meeting recording?
Yes, however, recording is generally included by the meeting host. Special Purpose Districts are required to retain a copy of the meeting until formal meeting minutes have been executed, per the Texas State Library and Commissions Archive. The only exceptions apply to governing bodies with a population of greater than 50,000, per HB 283.

Have questions about hosting video conference meetings? Ask us.