Council to Conduct Hearing and Meetings Over the Phone
Updated: Apr 2, 2020
APRIL 2 PUBLIC HEARING AND SPECIAL MEETING CANCELLED
MOUNT POCONO (APR 1 2020) -- According to a legal advertisement in today's Pocono Record, tomorrow's public hearing and the special council meeting scheduled to follow the hearing, will be done on the telephone.
The council had previously scheduled a public hearing on a proposed bed and breakfast ordinance for 6:30 pm tomorrow, April 2. Subsequently, they scheduled a special meeting to occur immediately after the public hearing, for the limited purposes of considering he ordinance and for the appointment of a member of council to replace Donna Casole. Council had accepted Casole's resignation at its regular meeting on March 2.
Although the legal notice referred only to the meetings of April 2 and 6, Lori Noonan, the Borough Secretary, has confirmed the intent of council to also conduct the hearing by telephone. Members of the public may "attend" the meeting by calling 978-990-5000 and using the access code 378920#. Channel 570 has announced that it intends to livestream the hearing and meeting. The same procedure will be used by council for its April 6 regular meeting. No members of the council will be physically present at the borough building, which will be closed to the public at the time of the meeting. The Borough Code allows for a minority of council to participate in a meeting by telephone, but requires that a quorum of council be present in person at the location advertised for the meeting. Last week the state house passed a bill which would permit this procedure, but the state senate adjourned without passing the legislation, which therefore has not been enacted into law. In addition to the proposed ordinance and appointment of a new council member, the draft agenda for tomorrow's meeting also includes a proposed emergency declaration. This appears to present another legal issue as the notice of the special meeting did not include the proposed declaration and the Borough Code appears to preclude the consideration of additional items at a special meeting noticed for specific purposes. The appointment of a new council member would take place on the 31st day after council accepted Casole's resignation. The Borough Code states that council's authority to appoint a successor expires on the 30th day after acceptance of a resignation.