Board of Selectmen meeting in-person on Tuesday

Above: March 2020 was the last time selectmen held a meeting in the Hearing Room with the public.* The board is reopening the doors to in-person attendance next week. (image cropped from SAM video)

On Tuesday evening, the Board of Selectmen will convene in the Town House. The public is now allowed to join them. (They are also allowed to continue to opt for remote attendance.)

Since March of last year, agendas have included a header referring to Governor’s orders issued that limit attendance to public meetings. Until now, the small print had prohibited public attendance, allowing participation only by remote technology. The agenda posted this afternoon for the June 1st meeting includes a revised version.

Rather than emphasizing that no members of the public may attend, it now states:

Members of the public and/or parties witha right and/or requirement to attend this meeting may do so in-person. They also may watch or participate in the meeting remotely by finding the meeting at:

The meeting will take place at 6:30 pm in the Hearing Room at the Town House, 17 Common Street.

Tuesday is the first day that the Town’s municipal buildings are officially reopening to the public. I would expect that more committees and boards will be posting similarly revised rules. (So far, the only other meeting with the same rules is the joint session for Board of Health to participate in the BOS meeting.)

In recent meetings, selectmen had noted that the increase in live streamed meetings had increased public ability to follow what boards and committees are doing. They hoped that they could find a way to keep that up. Town Administrator Mark Purple noted that Southborough Access Media had been checking their equipment and getting ready for the change.

As for what selectmen will discuss on Tuesday. . . the agenda includes next steps for the South Union Building and three issues out of Town Meeting: Noise bylaw, Illumination bylaw, and Flagg Road commercial truck exclusion request.

You can find the full agenda here.

This isn’t the first time that selectmen have held a meeting in person since March 2020, but it is the first time that in-person participation was allowed. (Last summer, the board gathered at the Public Safety Complex to discuss their goals for the year. The meeting was streamed to the public.)

*Since the meeting on March 10, 2020, two seats have turned over. This will be the first time that selectmen Chelsea Malinowski and Andrew Dennington have sat at the big table as members of the BOS.

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