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Can township trustees attend township meetings by phone or teleconference?

Yes. Although the Attorney General ruled in 1977 that telephone conferences could not meet Open Meetings Act requirements, the Court of Appeals disagreed in a later case. In Goode v Dept of Soc Services, 143 Mich App 756, 759-60; 373 NW2d 210 (1985), the Court said:

“We find no problem with the holding of hearings via teleconference calls. Such calls are heard through speaker phones and are audible to all in the room. Persons who wish to attend the hearing are allowed to do so and may attend at either location. The conference call set-up actually increases the accessibility of the public to attend, as now more than one location is open to the public.”

Stay tuned for next month when we tackle another township’s pressing question. If you have current issues or legal topics you need addressed, please fill out the form below with your question. We will select a question each month to answer.

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