WHITMAN — The town is seeing an increase in COVID-19, according to interim Town Administrator Lisa Green, who reported 17-related cases of COVID in Whitman as of Monday, Oct. 19.
Some are in quarantine and some have been tested, but results are not available yet, Green said.
“The numbers are slowly climbing,” she told Selectmen Tuesday, Oct. 20. “Right now, Whitman is still in the yellow, but we are surrounded by towns in red. It’s speculated that we could go to red any day now.”
If that happens, Green cautioned that Whitman would have to return to more restrictive protocols.
“That would be up to the Board of Health and fire chief if the numbers continue increasing the way they are,” she said.
Selectmen also reviewed the status of the Budget Override Review Committee in the wake of Town Administrator Frank Lynam’s retirement and an agenda item to name Green to committees and projects in which he was involved.
Selectman Randy LaMattina said, while he doesn’t see an override happening this year, an override is not out of the question in the future. The strategic plan, combined with the Collins Center capital report, means the committee could reconvene to reassess the town’s position.
“I don’t foresee it meeting before the first of the year,” he said.
“I would vote to keep it on the docket, as well, to look over the progress it had made last year,” said Selectmen Chairman Dr. Carl Kowalski said. He said he anticipates a discussion at the next Selectmen’s meeting regarding the hiring of a consultant to look at the strategic plan.
“That needs to be on the road,” Kowalski said. “You have to know what the town values before you discuss goals and objectives.”
Selectman Dan Salvucci agreed that the budget committee’s work is still needed.
If we take a step back, we may find ourselves with possible issues again.” Salvucci said.
Kowalski also advocated keeping the name, because an override may still be needed, and advocated a regular report to the board from the schools liaison.
Selectmen approved the common victualler’s license application for Restoration Coffee to move his business to the site of the former Mary Lou’s coffee shop at 564 Washington St., in Whitman center.
“I’m looking forward to opening the shop back up in Whitman,” said owner Matt Wood, who had operated the shop on South Avenue for two years, encountering issues when COVID hit. “We’re looking to have our own space now.”