Live! From Cancun! It’s the Ulster County Legislature!
KINGSTON, N.Y. — If you happen to be in Cancun, Mexico, this coming week but don’t want to miss the Tuesday meeting of the Ulster County Legislature, you may be able to stop by The Royal Islander to attend.
If all goes according to plan, Legislator Robert Parete will participate in the Legislature’s monthly meeting from the Mexican resort via videoconference, and the public will be welcome to sit in.
Parete, D-Stone Ridge, said he will be on a belated honeymoon with his wife, Nicole, when Legislature meets.
But he said he didn’t want to miss the meeting simply because he’ll be with his new bride some 1,600 miles away.
“I’ve never missed a regularly scheduled meeting since I was elected in 2001,” he said in an interview on Friday.
In an email, Parete stated that he requested to attend via videoconference because he believes it’s “vital that I attend this meeting because my job duties relate to all matters concerning county government and I feel very strongly about attending meetings and government participation.”
State law allows for the use of videoconferencing provided that notice of the remote location is made and that the location is open to the public.
Legislature Chairman Terry Bernardo, R-Accord, said that, state law notwithstanding, for the Ulster County Legislature to allow videoconferencing, lawmakers first must amend the rules under which they operate in order to vote to allow the use of the technology.
The Legislature’s rules require that any amendment to its rules — such as one allowing lawmakers to attend meetings via videoconference — must be considered twice by lawmakers before they can vote to make the changes.
But there wasn’t sufficient time between Parete’s request two weeks ago and Tuesday’s meeting to meet the two-reading requirement, Bernardo said. Continued...
That means that before Parete can attend the meeting via videoconference, legislators first must vote to waive the two-reading requirement, then vote to allow the use of the technology.
Bernardo has scheduled a meeting for 6:50 p.m. Tuesday, 10 minutes prior to the Legislature’s regularly scheduled session, to consider the change
If the Legislature approves the use of the technology, Parete will participate in the meeting from the activities and fitness center of The Royal Islander, whose address is listed as Kukulkan Boulevard, Km 17.5, Hotel Zone, Cancun, 77500, Mexico
Parete said he will bear all costs associated with the videoconference.
The Legislature’s regular meeting is to begin at 7 p.m. Tuesday on the sixth floor of the Ulster County Office Building, 244 Fair St., Kingston.
Due to the difference in time zones, the meeting will begin at 6 p.m. Cancun time.
Both locations are open to the public.
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