How to participate in meetings (and submit questions) for Regional School Committee (tonight) and BOS (tomorrow) (Updated)

by beth on March 18, 2020

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Today and tomorrow two public meetings will be held, but members of the public won’t be allowed to pop in. Instead, under emergency rules set by the Governor, committees and boards will be using technology to allow public participation.

Agendas explain:

No in-person attendance of members of the public will be permitted, but every effort will be made to ensure that the public can adequately access the proceedings in real-time, via technological means. In the event that we are unable to do so, despite best efforts, we will post on the [District/Southborough] website an audio or video recording, transcript, or other comprehensive record of proceedings as soon as possible after the meeting.

Regional School Committee Hearing, Wednesday, March 18 at 7:00 pm

Tonight, as I previously posted, the Regional School Committee will start off its meeting with a public hearing on the budget. An updated agenda was issued explaining the online access and providing a link for people who have questions they want answered during the hearing.

Questions submitted online:

will be read into the record by the Chairperson and answered by the Director of Finance or Superintendent of Schools.

Click here to submit your question.

For live streaming the conference, the agenda sends the public to the following link.

[If that doesn’t work – you can try the info and links I previously shared: Northborough Cable Access Television’s live broadcast, available in Southborough on Verizon-29 and Charter-194 or via live stream. The meeting will also be rebroadcast through NCAT’s YouTube channel and VOD player.]

Board of Selectmen Meeting, Thursday, March 19 at 6:30 pm

This morning an agenda was posted for a BOS meeting. I’m still waiting for an updated version to be posted. The document explains that the public isn’t allowed in person but can listen in via YouTube. However, it is currently missing the link. Town Administrator Mark Purple informed me that the link isn’t ready yet, but the agenda will be updated when it is.

Other than approving minutes, the BOS business is specifically related to Covid-19. The board will approve a policy on virtual meetings and discuss an update on the impact of the pandemic.

This meeting doesn’t include public comment. Still, it is worth noting how residents can pass their comments, questions and concerns on to selectmen now that in-person meetings and “Meet the Selectmen” sessions are on hold. You can always email selectmenoffice@southboroughma.com. (You might get a sufficient answer/response directly. Your question or comment could also be raised in a subsequent meeting.)

For now, you can click here to find the original agenda, and check if an updated one with the link has been posted.

Updated (3/18/20 12:59 pm): An updated packet has been posted for the BOS meeting, but it is still missing the YouTube link.

Updated (3/19/20 1:52 pm): The Town posted more information on the Governor’s order and how officials are complying. The Memo included:

Please check individual meeting agendas on the calendar on the Town of Southborough’s website, located https://www.southboroughtown.com/ for the latest information regarding meetings. Each meeting may experience unique circumstances that may require last minute changes in protocol, including cancellation or rescheduling. We appreciate your patience as we undergo this shift in a significant aspect of how the Town of Southborough conducts business.

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