The week in government: Board of Health; Selectmen Goal Setting; Regional School Committee

by beth on July 20, 2020

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Above: These days, meetings that usually take place in the Town House Hearing Room or other public facilities are being run by video/audio conference calls accessible to the public.

Here is a selection of the committee and board meetings for the week along with my selected highlights from the agendas.

The Town intends to make each of its meetings available for viewing/listening via streaming live (and saved) video and audio on YouTube with some available for public comment by zoom.* Live streaming of school committee meetings is only available for viewing via webinars.**

As always, be aware that changes to the meeting schedule are known to happen throughout the week. For an updated list of meetings, visit the town website.

This week, I’m also sharing meetings that popped up last week that weren’t listed in last Monday’s post. Since videos are now available via YouTube for most, I’m including those links. Scroll down to the bottom of the post for those.

Scheduled for this week:

Monday, July 20, 2020

  • Capital Planning Committee Meeting, 7:30 am @ Virtual Meeting (agenda) Agenda Highlights: Update on Town House Engineering and Next Steps; Membership Recruitment; Reorganization of Committee; Fire Dept Update (Discuss Chief’s Vehicle and PPE Fund; Ambulance Fund year end balance); South Union building update; Vehicle acquisition (discuss policy and leasing considerations); Updates to Capital Plan; Detailed Review of FY22 Capital Items

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

  • Board of Health Meeting, 1:00 pm @ Virtual Meeting (agenda) Agenda Highlights: Title 5 Code Septic – Variance Request 21 Stowe Road; Addition of 2 Nursing positions; Anti-Body and PCR Testing; Flu Clinic; Emergency Shelter training; Advisory Committee
  • Board of Selectmen Meeting, 6:30 pm @ [Note: Though the board will meet in person, the public is not allowed to attend. I am told that public viewing will be made available via remote video.] Public Safety Facility, Training Room, 32 Cordaville Rd (agenda with packet) Agenda Highlights: Appointment of Special Police Officer; Approval of new Golf Committee charge; Goal Setting discussion
  • Municipal Technology Committee Meeting, 7:00 pm @ Virtual Meeting (agenda) Agenda Highlights: Library tech strategy discussion; COVID-19 risk mitigation via technology; technology status updates, strategy, & next year budget; MTC processes; 5G Wireless; Strategic tech plan; surveys

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

  • Economic Development Meeting, 8:00 am @ Virtual Meeting (agenda) Agenda Highlights: Village Mixed Use District Zoning Article status and vote on latest version
  • Library Board of Trustees Meeting, 6:00 pm @ Virtual Meeting (agenda) Agenda Highlights: Eagle Scout Vegetable Garden project; Library Facade Restoration; Library Technician promotions; Status of Covid-19 building reopening
  • Zoning Board of Appeals Meeting, 7:00 pm @ Virtual Meeting (agenda) Agenda Highlights: Reorganization of the Board; Set revised meeting schedule

Thursday, July 23, 2020

  • Regional School Committee Meeting, 5:30 pm @ Virtual Meeting via webinar. Click here to register. (agenda) Agenda Highlights: Election of Officers, Regional School Committee Resolution on COVID-19 State Funding; Student Opportunity Act; Audience Sharing Open government meeting with virtual access available for the public 

Meetings I missed notifying you about last week: 

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

  • Advisory Committee Meeting, 5:00 pm @ Virtual Meeting (agenda) Agenda Highlights: Election of officers; Requests for Reserve Fund Transfers and Interdepartmental Transfers; Discuss/vote on size of committee

Thursday, July 16, 2020

  • Economic Development Meeting, 7:00 pm @ Virtual Meeting (agenda) Agenda Highlights: Village Mixed Use District (VMUD) Zoning Article -status and vote on Request for Professional Planner Review

Friday, July 17, 2020

  • SHOPC Meeting, 8:00 am @ Virtual Meeting (agenda) Agenda Highlights: Housing Production Plan submission to the Department of Housing and Community Development
  • Council on Aging Meeting, 8:30 am @ Virtual Meeting (agenda) Agenda Highlights: Status of Future Programming; Senior Center Renovations Update; Additional Toilet status; Activity suggestions [Note: There is no remote video for this meeting. Town Administrator Mark Purple responded to my inquiry: “It was run live, but because of some technical issues with the meeting, it unintentionally did not end up getting recorded. There will be minutes for the meeting available as soon as they are prepared.”]

*There is the caveat that there could be technical glitches that force the Town to take backup actions:

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 Southborough’s website an audio or video recording, transcript, or other comprehensive record of proceedings as soon as possible after the meeting.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Open Letter to BOS Chair July 21, 2020 at 10:22 PM

It is very troubling that BOS can meet in person, but there is no provision whatsoever for the public viewing, participation, or provision for public comment in real time on what YOU, our elected officials are planning for the coming year. Pandemic or not, there is no reason why you couldn’t make a better effort to include the public. This is not ok. This type of leadership is an abject failure in recognition of the spirit and meaning of Open Meeting Law. And a continued failure to serve the best interest of the taxpayers of this town, the very people who put you in your seat. This of course is a continued trend of poor chairmanship (some, not all) and making it hard, not easy, for the public to witness and, God forbid, participate. The last annual BOS planning session was held at the dump. Nice. Can you imagine the arrogance of the stares of various BOS members (some, not all) when members of the public actually show up, take time out of their day, in interest of civic planning, and there are literally no seats. Why wasn’t this current meeting planned for better public viewing and public participation? This is our town and our taxpayer dollars. It is all about accountability to the public, not disappearing from public view. This smacks of Open Meeting Law violation, pandemic or not. This is an important meeting, of paramount interest to the public. If this disappointing behavior could have been understood up front, you never would have had my vote. For these reasons, you have lost support, and this will be remembered at the voting booth. You know better and can do better.

Reply

2 beth July 22, 2020 at 10:25 AM

FYI – the event was streamed live. The video is available here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VJNlGpd5uZc

Reply

3 Sobo Res July 23, 2020 at 11:22 AM

It may have been live-streamed but the link did not work!

Reply

4 beth July 23, 2020 at 1:03 PM

If you mean the link in my above comment – that is working. I’m not sure why you are having trouble with it.

If it’s still not working for you, try going to YouTube and searching for Board of Selectmen Retreat (July 21, 2020 6:30PM) southborough

If you meant a different link, I’m not clear on what you are referring to.

Reply

5 Betsy Rosenbloom July 24, 2020 at 10:01 AM

Dear “Open Letter” and “Sobo Res” – I was able to view this meeting on YouTube, as for other BOS meetings. I appreciate your frustration if you were not able to see it. I understand the BOS is going to have a continuing discussion of goals on August 4th. May I suggest that in addition to commenting here, you contact SAM and the BOS directly, as the appropriate person may not see your comment here. I’m looking forward to viewing on the 4th and would be disappointed if it was not available to me. I’m not sure who owns this issue, SAM or BOS, but I believe that the members of the BOS intended for the public to be able to see and hear this meeting and would want to know there was a problem. Thank you.

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