After being postponed several times, Town Meeting has officially been set for 9:30 a.m., Saturday, Sept. 12, under a large tent on the field adjacent to the West Middle School.
Those who attend are strongly encouraged to wear masks. And although the town will provide masks if needed, those who forgo wearing a mask will be seated in a separate section.
In a statement, Town Moderator Sheila Doherty said she feels the conditions at that time will be safe enough to accommodate all those who wish to attend.
“I believe the downward trends in the spread of the COVID-19 virus in Massachusetts, and change in anticipated weather conditions, render the public health risk to voters low enough to hold the meeting at that time,” Doherty said.
Town Meeting has been delayed four times because of the pandemic. Initially, the Select Board postponed it, which then placed the decision into Doherty’s hands. She has postponed it three times since.
“Scheduling and planning for Town Meeting has been a challenge,” Flanagan said. “I think we have a solid plan that will allow residents with the necessary accommodations to participate safely.”
The law only allows for Town Meeting to be delayed in 30-day increments. According to Doherty’s statement, Sept. 12 was selected as the final date for Town Meeting because the law “does not give me authority to continue the Annual Town Meeting for longer than 30 days from the posted date of Aug. 22, 2020, but I do have the authority to issue further continuances.”
Flanagan said the Sept. 12 date is final.