Shrewsbury Selectmen Vote To Allow Remote Participation

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Selectmen Jim Kane, seen left in this file photo, supports remote access.
Selectmen Jim Kane, seen left in this file photo, supports remote access. Photo Credit: John Swinconeck (file photo)

SHREWSBURY, Mass. — Shrewsbury's selectmen won't have to be in the meeting room in order to vote anymore. The board voted unanimously Tuesday to authorize remote participation.

Selectmen will be allowed to vote via phone, Internet, satellite connection, video conference or other means if they are unable to physically attend a meeting due to illness, disability, emergency, military service or geographic distance.

However, a physical quorum must still be met for meetings to be held.

Selectman James Kane, who made the motion to adopt the policy, said he was frustrated when he missed a vote last year that he could have easily cast over the phone.

Kane said he was confident the policy won't be abused, in part, because the public can easily keep tags on which selectmen are in attendance because the meetings are broadcast on Shrewsbury public access television.

The option of remote participation was broached in December by Selectman Moira Miller, who was unable to attend Tuesday's meeting.

Few other nearby towns allow remote participation. Westborough selectmen last March voted against allowing such participation.

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