Unable to reach a quorum Wednesday night, the chairperson of the ARISE Schools board of directors did not call the board’s scheduled meeting to order.
Though the board had two of its seven members present, and two members planned to phone in, the members calling in could not count toward a quorum. State open meetings law does not allow members participating by phone to count toward a quorum or cast a vote.
A 2002 state attorney general’s opinion says that the intent of the open meetings law is that “one must be physically present at the meeting in order to participate in any manner. Representation by telephone is not sufficient.”
The opinion also stated that “Any participation via telephone, whether it is to obtain a quorum or to allow voting by non-present board members is a violation of the open meetings law.”
Board members Jen Walcott and Miles Granderson said a quick hello to Larry Eustis and Candice Frazier who joined on speaker phone, but they were informed there would not be a meeting after all.
Walcott said all agenda items would be addressed at September’s meeting.