The week in government: Back to in-person meetings (Updated – Again)

Today marks the last day of the Governor’s State of Emergency Orders. That means (until/unless the state legislature quickly passes a bill to  extend certain provisions) Town Meetings and Boards will need to convene in-person with in-person access for the public.

The change is demonstrated in the agendas posted for this week’s meetings.

Starting Tuesday, the agendas for Town committees/boards no longer provide a link to a live zoom session for public participation. (And any plans to stream via SAM were complicated by an unexpected equipment failure*.)

However, this week’s school committee meetings are still currently listing public access through webinars.**

Below are the posted committee and board meetings for the week along with my selected highlights from the agendas. All of these meetings are open to the public, so you’re welcome to stop on by. (Though, at least one has a closed Executive Session to start – so check agenda details.)

As always, be aware that changes to the meeting schedule are known to happen throughout the week. (Last week, one popped up that I didn’t list last Monday – scroll down for those details.) For an updated list of meetings, visit the town website.

Monday, June 14, 2021

  • Open Space Preservation Commission Meeting, 1:30 pm @ virtual meeting (agenda) Agenda Highlights: Pollination Preservation Gardens and Habitat – Beals Preserve garden project, Golf Course, Library garden, Halloran Open Space, Breakneck Hill, Seed Workshops, St. Mark’s School, Town Pound; South Union School Town Meeting Warrant Article; Wildlife Habitat Certification

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

  • Library Board of Trustees Meeting, 11:00 am @ Main Floor – Southborough Library (agenda) Agenda Highlights: Library Façade Restoration Project; Library Director Performance Evaluation; Signature Authorization Form for Accounting; Native Plant Garden Project Update; Capital Policy Memorandum Discussion
  • Board of Selectmen Meeting, 6:30 pm @ Hearing Room, Town House, 17 Common St (agenda) Agenda Highlights: Town Counsel interview,*** Statement of Interest for Neary School; Transfer Station Rules & Regs; Earmarking of funds; Use of Town email by Town officials; ARPA funding; New charge for Capital Planning Committee; Extend Capital Planning’ School Research Subcommittee to December; Discus Flagg Road truck exclusion request; Draft Charge for Noise Bylaw Ad Hoc Committee; Liability insurance for notary services; Review of Special Municipal Employee designations; Discuss Counsel review of IMA for Shared Services; Update/discussion of 15 Main Street – to be streamed online (but not interactive)*
  • Southborough Scholarship Advisory Committee Meeting, 7:30 pm @ location TBD (agenda) Agenda Highlights: 2021 Scholarship Applications; establish evaluation process; planning and election Note: The original agenda refers to a virtual meeting. [Editor’s Note: According to the Town Clerk’s office, the committee is working to identify an in-person location. When that is identified, a new agenda will be posted.]

Wednesday, June 16, 2021 

  • Southborough Housing Opportunity Partnership Committee Meeting, 8:00 am @ Hearing Room, Town House, 17 Common St (agenda) Agenda Highlights: Master Plan Committee Update – Housing Chapter; Officer elections, Subcommittee with Capital Planning Committee; Affordable Housing Trust 5-year plan grant submission
  • Taxation Aid Committee Meeting, 4:15 pm @ Hearing Room, Town House, 17 Common St (agenda) Agenda Highlights: Applicant request to pay grant directly; Timing of grant issuance
  • Regional School Committee Meeting, 5:30 pm @ Algonquin Regional High School, Library, 79 Bartlett St, Northborough (agenda) Agenda Highlights: PhysEd and Health Dept Presentation; Joint Policy Development Plans; Treasurer’s Report and Reappointment; Updates on Start Time, Coalition for Equity, Mascot Renaming, and Athletic Complex [Editor’s Note: The school is still promoting ability to participate by webinar.]
  • Combined School Committees Meeting, 5:30 pm @ Algonquin Regional High School, Library, 79 Bartlett St, Northborough (agenda) Agenda Highlights: NSPAC Presentation; Strategic Plan Update; Personnel; Reappointment of District Physician; Superintendent’s Evaluation and Contract [Editor’s Note: The school is still promoting ability to participate by webinar.]
  • Southborough Housing Authority Meeting, 5:30 pm @ Colonial Gardens, 49 Boston Rd (agenda) Agenda Highlights: Executive Director Report; approve bill payments

Looking Back:

Below is a meetings from last week that was posted after I ran last week’s list:

Thursday, June 10, 2021

  • Advisory Committee Meeting, 6:30 pm @ virtual hearing (agenda, video) Agenda Highlights: Town Meeting “post-mortem”; Agreement on Summer/Fall Advisory issues to tackle; Discuss the meeting with Personnel Board on accrual of sick and vacation time policies and MIS staffing

*In normal days, some of Southborough Access Media broadcasts some meetings live and/or delayed. Unfortunately, after a year of waiting – and believing they were ready to go – a significant piece of equipment failed. They don’t anticipate being able to record meetings this week or next. However, the Board of Selectmen does plan to use zoom to record their meeting this week. But since the emergency orders were lifted, it won’t be used for public participation. If you want to participate, you better head to the Hearing Room.

**Northborough Cable Access Television is responsible for the cable access for school committee meetings that take place at Algonquin. Webinars should eventually available via Verizon-29 and Charter-194, NCAT’s VOD player, and their YouTube channel.

***Updated (6/14/21 4:35 pm): The Town Counsel interview of current Town Counsel Aldo Cipriano at this Tuesday’s BOS Meeting is the final scheduled interview by selectmen for the position. Apparently, it didn’t take place last week as scheduled. I inquired why the video of the June 8th meeting isn’t posted. According to Assistant Town Administrator Vanessa Hale, Selectman Chelsea Malinowski announced that night that the video would be posted after all of the interviews were completed. (The decision for selecting Town Counsel is scheduled for June 22nd.)

Updated (6/15/21 1:50 pm): I updated the SAM information and BOS plans after learning of SAM’s technical difficulties.

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