MPRB March 18 Board meeting goes virtual

As part of its social distancing initiatives, Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) Commissioners will hold their first virtual Board meeting on Wednesday, March 18. Commissioners will call in and audio of the meeting will be viewable via normal webcast and TV options. The public is encouraged to view the meeting from home and submit Open Time public comments by email. Although commissioners will not be physically present, the Board meeting is open to the public, in person comments can still be made during scheduled Open Time, and social distancing will be encouraged.   The meeting will start at 5 pm, March 18. The meeting will be held the Board Room at the MPRB Mary Merrill Headquarters, 2117 West River Road North, Minneapolis. The agenda is available online.

How to view the Board Meeting remotely

The MPRB encourages members of the public who do not have an essential need to attend MPRB Board meetings to view them through the following live and recorded options:

How to submit public Open Time comments by email

Members of the public who would like to share comments during Open Time of a Board of Commissioners meeting are encouraged to submit them by email.  Email addresses are available in the “contact” section for each commissioner at www.minneapolisparks.org/commissioners.  If an individual submitting Open Time comments via email would like those comments to be read during Open Time, a copy of the comments should be sent to the Secretary to the Board at jringold@minneapolisparks.org before 3:30 pm on the day of the meeting. Comments submitted should be limited to approximately 300 words, which is similar to three minutes when read out loud.

A Note about the Open Meeting Law and COVID-19

The State of Minnesota Department of Administration has offered guidance regarding the COVID-19 health pandemic and the Open Meeting Law. They highlight Minnesota Statutes, section 13D.021. Section 13D.021, subdivision 1 which permits public bodies to hold meetings via telephone or other electronic means if the conditions of this section are met.

Section 13D.021 requires a public body to make a determination that an in-person meeting is “not practical or prudent because of a health pandemic or an emergency declared under chapter 12.” At this time, the governor has declared an emergency under Ch. 12.

Requirements for holding a meeting via telephone or other electronic means include:

  1. All participating members can hear one another;
  2. Members of the public at the physical meeting location can hear all discussion “unless attendance at the regular meeting location is not feasible due to the health pandemic”;
  3. At least one member of the public body is present at the meeting location, “unless unfeasible due to the health pandemic”; and
  4. All votes are taken by roll call.

To the extent practical, public bodies should allow the public to monitor the meeting remotely, pursuant to subdivision 3 of this section. However, the public body may charge for the costs incurred as a result of those additional monitoring connections.