INGATE

From The Sip Trunking Experts

TMCNet:  City weighs letting councilors attend meetings by phone, video conferencing

[November 27, 2012]

City weighs letting councilors attend meetings by phone, video conferencing

HAVERHILL, Nov 27, 2012 (The Eagle-Tribune - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- City Councilor John Michitson isn't sure how many council meetings he can attend next year, now that he has taken a new role at his company that requires extensive travel to California and the Middle East.


But he still might be able to have perfect attendance if the council becomes one of the first governmental bodies in Massachusetts to adopt a new state law allowing elected officials to participate and vote at meetings by telephone or video conferencing.

The law and rules to implement it were developed by the Attorney General's Office. The law allows remote participation, or telecommuting, by members of governmental boards if there is "a strong and dependable audio or video signal and a quorum of members is physically present," City Solicitor William Cox said.

Councilor William Macek said he intends to propose the law be adopted at the council's Dec. 4 meeting. Mayor James Fiorentini said he will go along with the council's preference on the matter.

Cox said the attorney general's rules for telecommuting require the mayor to authorize it before it can be used. Fiorentini said he was initially against the concept, but has changed his mind.

"I wouldn't want someone to miss all or most meetings because it's important for elected officials to be there in person," the mayor said. "For instance, there are things that take place at meetings that can't happen by teleconference, such as talking to residents in the hallway. But if it's used sparingly, I don't have a problem with it and I'll sign off on it if the council passes it." Fiorentini said some councilors have expressed concerns about the proposal to him privately, but that he doesn't know if they will make those concerns public. He declined to elaborate.

"It's innovative, so doing it would put Haverhill at the forefront technologically and show we're an up-and-coming city," the mayor said. "I wouldn't want someone vacationing in Florida and using this, but the alternative is not being there (the meeting). So if it's not abused, this could be a good alternative in some instances." Michitson, the top vote-getter in the last council election, resigned the council presidency last month due to his new work schedule at MITRE Corporation, where he is an electrical engineer. He has missed two council meetings since and three in the last two months.

In a interview for this story, Michitson said he hopes not to miss many more meetings, but that his travel schedule is uncertain.

"My immediate intention is to participate in City Council meetings next year during increased business travel," Michitson said. "But of course I am interested in telecommuting because I prefer to be at every meeting one way or another." If passed, Michitson noted telecommuting would be an option for every councilor, not just himself. It also could potentially be used by Haverhill's other governmental boards, such as the School Committee, he said.

Other telecommuting rules include: A quorum of the body, including the chairman or the person running the meeting, must be physically present at the meeting location; members of a public body who participate remotely and all people at the meeting location must be clearly audible to each other; and all votes taken during a meeting in which a member participates remotely must be by roll call vote.

In approving the measure, the council can set the maximum number of times a councilor can telecommute per year. Any costs incurred by the city in allowing remote participation must be paid by the councilor who telecommutes, according to the rules. Remote participation may be by audio or video, including Webex or Skype.

___ (c)2012 The Eagle-Tribune (North Andover, Mass.) Visit The Eagle-Tribune (North Andover, Mass.) at www.eagletribune.com Distributed by MCT Information Services

[ Back To SIP Trunking Home's Homepage ]

Loading
Subscribe here for your FREE
SIP TRUNKING enewslettter.

Featured Partner


Featured Whitepapers

SIP Security for the Enterprise
Voice over IP (VoIP) is incorporated into a variety of computer networks, both public and private, and used for everyday transactions and communications among carriers, businesses, government agencies...

Making A Broadband Purchase Decision
Businesses today have many options for broadband connectivity. Clarifying your particular business needs prior to selecting a broadband provider will ensure an optimal match of broadband service to your requirements.

Voice-Optimized Network Delivers Premier Call Experience
Customers equate call quality with business quality. Real-time communication, interpersonal interaction, and the cordial tone of a call center representative can create a positive impression of your business that no email can match.

Featured Case Studies

Business Telecom Expenses Reduced 50%
A small to medium sized company in the midwest was interested in migrating to IP Communications, but in today's economy, they were hesitant to upgrade their communication system due to their perception that the cost would outweigh the benefits.

Multi-State Company Cuts Telecom Costs 50%
A multi-site, multi-state company with extensive monthly long distance fees and toll-free charges did not have adequate broadband for Broadvox SIP Trunking requirements, nor did they have a SIP enabled telephone system.

Discover Leisure Connects Remote Users to its IP-PBX
Discover Leisure is one of the largest resellers of caravans and motor homes in the UK. With 15 branch of?ces all over the country, the company spent a great deal of money every month just on internal phone calls.

Featured eBOOKS

Internet+: The Way Toward Global Unified Communication
Connecting the telephony of the enterprise PBX or Unified Communications (UC) system using SIP trunks instead of conventional telephone lines has been very successful in recent years.

What is SIP Trunking? Edition 2
SIP trunking is becoming more of a focus for service providers. One key issue many service providers face when deploying SIP trunks is NAT, or Network Address Translation, traversal.

What is SIP Trunking? Edition 1
A vast resource for information about all things SIP - including SIP, security, VoIP, SIP trunking and Unified Communications.

Featured Videos

Broadvox VAR Testimonial VAR 1:
Part 1 of the VAR (Value Added Reseller) Partner Program Testimonials for Broadvox...

E-SBCs AS The Demarcation Point:
Ingate's Steve Johnson talks to Erik Linask about the role session border controller plays as the demarcation point at...

Demystifying DPI
How can deep packet inspection protect your SIP traffic as well as your entire network?

Featured Resources

Partner Program Overview:
Over 4,000 VARs, Master Agents, Solution Providers, and Independent IT Professionals trust Broadvox. We offer customized services and solutions to fit seamlessly into any company's business model. And when you partner with Broadvox, every member of our team stands behind you and your customers 100%...

SIP Trunk UC Summit

What's New

Presenting the New Ingate/Intertex Website:
Internet+ is an extended Internet access allowing high quality SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) based real-time person-to-person communication, everywhere and for any application. It applies to both fixed and mobile networks ...

Featured Blogs

Featured Webinars

Secure SIP Trunking:
What You Need to Know

Successfully Deploying Enterprise SIP Trunking:
Tools and Techniques for Overcoming Common Roadblocks

Featured Podcasts

Getting the Most Out of Your SIP Trunks:
Ingate's Steve Johnson and TMC's Erik Linask discuss how best practices forgetting the most out of SIP Trunking services and common pitfalls to avoid.

Featured Datasheets

Ingate SIParator E-SBCs
Adopting SIP is a simple process with the Ingate SIParator, the secure enterprise session border controller (E-SBC). The SIParator makes secure SIP communications - including VoIP,SIP trunking and more - possible while working seamlessly with your existing network firewall.

Ingate Firewalls
Everyone is talking about enterprise usage of VoIP, instant messaging and other types of realtime communications including presence and conferencing.

SIP Trunk Solutions for Service Providers
The award-winning Ingate Firewall and Ingate SIParator deliver a high quality, reliable SIP trunk connection between the customer's IP-PBX and the service provider network, and solve interoperability issues to simplify deployments and support for remote diagnosis of reported issues.