STEPHENSON – The Menominee County Board of Commissioners discussed at its meeting Tuesday the possibility of amending the county bylaws to allow commissioners to participate in meetings remotely.

County Administrator Jason Carviou said that one of the commissioners had brought this topic up to him in the past but at the time he was unsure what the Michigan state laws regarding this issue. The State of Michigan does allow remote participation, including telephone and video conference calls, during county board meetings, but the person participating remotely cannot be included as part of the quorum. However, their vote still counts when voting on action items.

Carviou proposed amendments to the county bylaws, drafted by County Clerk Marc Kleiman, which would allow future remote participation. The bylaws state the commissioner’s remote participation must be approved within 24 hours before the meeting and they would not be paid a per diem for that meeting. Upon request of the board, guidelines on how to proceed during closed session meetings will also be drafted.

Commissioner Larry Schei said he did not feel remote participation was necessary.

“I’ve been to meetings that allow it and it doesn’t work the way it should. Sometimes there’s children crying in the background or the connections bad. If someone wants to do it every month it’s going to get out of hand.”

Commissioner David Preston said Schei was “addressing a problem that doesn’t exist yet” and the board should move forward with the proposal and make changes as problems arise.

The agenda item is expected to be voted on at the next Menominee County Board meeting, Aug. 27.

In other business, the board:

¦ Voted to expand the hours of the UES Technician while the county is undergoing several technical projects.

¦ Discussed purchasing a Subaru using the Veteran’s Grant funding for the Veteran’s Services Department. A vote will occur during the next meeting.