HANSON — The Board of Selectmen on Tuesday, June 9 raised issues of exactly where the annual Town Meeting will be held. The question will be revisited at the Tuesday, June 23 meeting.
Town Administrator John Stanbrook said Town Moderator Sean Kealy, has looked at various school venues in towns and capacity to accommodate social distancing for Town Meeting.
“Sean would really like to have it outside,” said Town Clerk Beth Sloan. “I think he was really going toward Indian Head.”
Sloan said her only concern for that location is parking capacity.
Selectmen Chairman Laura FitzGerald-Kemmett said she has spoken to the Mass Municipal Association, which has advised that “to the extent you can have it outside, you ought to have it outside.”
She said it helps ensure social distancing and people’s comfort level.
Dealing with residents who do not want to wear a mask, and handling of the microphone are also issues of concern. A recording of the presentation is viewable on the MMA website.
“There’s a lot to work out,” she said. “If it’s outside, then you have to think about do you need a canopy.”
Sloan said the high school would probably be the best location, but then tents and whether to use them would be an issue.
“ADA would probably be the best at the high school as well,” she said. “If you’re going to do it outside, I definitely think we should do it at the high school.”
“The main thing is just saying where it’s going to be,” FitzGerald-Kemmett said. “You don’t have to say in the gym, or the PAC or the football field.”
Selectman Wes Blauss raised the questions of the size of tent needed in the event of rain.
Selectman Matt Dyer suggested a “drive-in” Town Meeting, as some other communities have done, as well as a streamlined agenda. Feodoroff suggested the consent agenda approach for articles never traditionally discussed such as town reports, could be used as a separate article to be voted on en masse — with the opportunity of placing holds on them before voting in case questions do arise.
For any outside meeting, Dyer argued that any area chosen should be sprayed for mosquitos ahead of time.