Annual town meeting during a pandemic will be different. We will meet outdoors on town common, maintaining social distancing and wearing masks. People who are sick or have virus symptoms are encouraged to stay at home.
The town meeting will be held on Saturday June 27 at 10 AM with rain dates of June 28 at 10 AM and June 29 at 5 PM. Information about weather-related changes in date will be posted to the town listserv or you may call the town moderator at 978-544-2306.
When voters arrive, they will be directed to a check-in table on the end of the common nearest to Morse Village Road. They are expected to keep a minimum of a 6-distance from the checkers and from each other while lined up.
Chairs will be set out on the common at 6-foot distances.
The restrooms at Town Hall will be available.A shorter meeting means less exposure to others. The meeting will be streamlined to reduce the amount of time voters spend together by:
providing as much information as possible to voters before the meeting, in print and electronically, and holding a virtual pre-meeting to present information and answer questions,
using a “consent agenda” that allows voting on a group of non-controversial articles (such as articles accepting the town report and allowing the selectboard to apply for and receive grants) with one vote
asking voters who speak to be very brief and establishing time limits for presentations and for individual speakers,
asking voters who are repeating previous speakers to end their remarks.
The moderator will use a microphone. Voters or others wishing to speak will speak without a microphone. Speakers may remove their masks while speaking.
When the meeting is dissolved, the moderator will dismiss the meeting participants by rows, to reduce crowding at exit points.
The town meeting planning committee appointed by the selectboard developed this plan for a safe and legitimate town meeting. Safe because the town will follow protocols set out by health experts and legitimate because Wendell will be able to continue our tradition of carefully considering the issues facing our town.
Town Meeting Planning Committee: Barbara Craddock, Joe Cuneo, Christopher Parker, Katie Nolan, Gretchen Smith, Doug Tanner