With Annual Town Meeting coming up on Saturday, the Town has released more information on how the meeting will be safely conducted.
It includes the aspiration of keeping the meeting to under two hours this year. It also points out the somewhat favorable forecast* for the outdoor event.
The meeting is open to any residents that registered as Southborough voters by March 7th. (According to Town Clerk Jim Hegarty, the deadline is based on the Warrant posted for the March 28th meeting. Laws enabling the meeting to be postponed didn’t allow for extending the registration deadline.)
Below is the notice:
Town Meeting Logistics & Safety Highlights
This year our Annual Town Meeting will be held at 1:00pm on Saturday, June 13, 2020. It is very likely this will be an historically brief Town Meeting. Town Meetings often take two nights, with a total of 8 hours or more, but this year, because the Moderator and Board of Selectmen are working to defer all but critical business, it is very likely that Town Meeting may take less than 2 hours.
In addition to following guidance from our local Board of Health, we’ve gone to great lengths to insure that this will be a safe event. First and foremost, like many Towns in the Commonwealth have already done, the Meeting will be held OUTDOORS. The current extended forecast is for partly cloudy and 74 degrees. A few other notes:
- 200 chairs will be set up.
- There will be a minimum of 7 feet of spacing between chairs and 10 feet spacing between rows.
- The corridors between sections of chairs will be one way and 14 feet wide.
- Feel free to bring your own “camp“ chair.
- If you’d like to sit on the grass or on a blanket, we’ll have plenty of space for that too.
- You can bring an umbrella, but you’ll need to sit on the side and not block anyone’s view.
- Masks are required for entry, but you can remove it once you are in your chair.
- Please wear your mask whenever you are not in your chair.
- We will provide a mask to anyone who forgets one.
- There will be high-gain microphones in the corridors for the public to address the Hall.
- Because these microphones are remotely adjusted to insure the speaker’s voice can be heard, there will be a 3-foot fence surrounding each microphone to ensure that no one actually touches it.
- Nevertheless, if any need arises our media vendor will be ready to sanitize microphones.
- We’ll have free bottled water for everyone.
- Although we expect a short Meeting, there will still be 5 port-a-lets available, which will be cleaned every half hour using an electrostatic cleaner.
- We’ll offer hand sanitizer to everyone as they check-in, and thereafter as you like. You are encouraged to bring your own as well.
- There is plenty of parking in front of the Neary School.
- There will be handicapped parking close to the entrance as well.
A few additional details. . .
As those of you who have been following ATM should know, the meeting is scheduled to take place on the athletic fields on the Neary and Trottier school campus. (You can enter by the shared driveways for 53 Parkerville Rd/49 Parkerville Rd.) Clearly, the Town isn’t expecting overflow parking to be needed, but it is available up the hill at Trottier.
I’ve been sharing information on the Warrant and Articles that the Town expects to handle or postpone. The most recent post on that is here. But look for more between now and the meeting, plus other related ATM coverage here. (I hope to share news on the updated budget situation later this morning.)
You can find the Town’s official Town Meeting page here.
*Since no rain is in the forecast, presumably the above invitation to Bring Your Own camp chair and umbrella is if you feel that you’ll be too hot in the sun. As of this morning, the National Weather Service predicts some cloud coverage, but not more than 50%. The humidity forecast is also in a 40-50% range with almost no breeze.
Updated (6/11/20 9:51 am): I inserted the March 7th voter registration deadline. I also confirmed that check-in will not include scanning licenses this year, though machines will still be used.