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Council OKs attendance via phone

City Council unanimously approved an amendment Tuesday night to allow telephone and video conferences at all of its future meetings.

The amendment was changed to allow council members to keep a majority of attendance needed to pass a vote if a council member is not able to physically attend a meeting.

At least three council member must be present to conduct official business.

The new amendment was in response to a council vote in 2010 that banned all teleconference calls at council meetings. However, the old amendment was counter to NRS 241.010 that allows state officials to be declared present at public meetings via video or telephone conference.

City Clerk Lorene Krumm said that passing the amendment was par for the course.

“The majority of councils allow members to be present through a telephone or video conference,” Krumm said.

Councilman Duncan McCoy, who was a member of the 2010 council that banned conference calls, said he worked on many boards that allowed conference calls and had never seen a reason not to have them.

“I have been on many boards and I have never seen conference calls abused,” McCoy said. “These calls allow us to get things done when someone is not able to attend a council meeting.”

Councilman Rich Shuman said he will not need to use conference calls, but still voted to allow them.

“I would probably use a teleconference maybe once a year,” Shuman said. “I think we should leave the use of conference calls up to the mayor. We allow them, but if for some reason they are being abused, the mayor can end them.

City Manager David Fraser said that state law clearly allows them to use conference calls at meetings, but council was not obligated to use them. “You guys are debating your own rules of procedure,” Fraser said. “The law is clear that you are allowed to be present at a meeting through a conference call, but you do not have to use them.”

In other City Council news, Steve Parrish of the Clark County Regional Flood Control District reminded those at the meeting to be wary of flash floods, which are most prevalent during the next three months.

“We want to get the message out to the public that flash floods are dangerous and to make sure people are not out and about during a rain storm,” Parrish said.

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