I am very thankful to live in a town that so deeply cares about the health safety of the families that make up our community. At an emergency Board of Selectpersons meeting, ( November 11, PCM video available) a great team of municipal leaders and public attendees worried their way through the question of whether or not we could postpone the Special Town Meeting to a safer day in Spring time.
Budget circumstances and the legal opinion from our town attorney led to the conclusion that, in the best interest of our community, we had to have this town meeting. Everyone went on to agree that the next safest plan was to shorten the meeting time by removing the warrant articles that were controversial and would draw more voters into the meeting, raising the risk of exposure to the Covid virus.
Thankfully, the Light, Air and Noise Committee and the Planning Board decided to move to table the Light bylaw and Marijuana License warrant articles respectively, leaving the budget and street acceptance articles to vote on.
I believe the challenge to the voting community is trusting that proponents of those warrant articles will hold to their spoken commitment to public safety and the wish to have the Light and Marijuana debate postponed until all interested people can have that debate safely, hopefully in the Spring of 2021.
If it happens, understandably, that voters feel compelled to risk public safety and attend the Special Town meeting to defend their beliefs, I personally plan to support tabling the articles and also declining to participate in any debate or vote on those issues. I recognize that determined voters may be in a position to bring the articles to a vote. I would consider that vote, for or against, wrongly gained due to the limited safe public access to the town meeting. I would ask that those articles be reconsidered at the next town meeting. I will be working to create an outside venue for Spring town meeting. Our Democracy needs a means to do its good work safely.
For public safety worries, I hope all participants will agree to delay those warrant article decisions. I hope we will have just enough meeting participants to meet the thirty voters quorum to get the bare bone work done and the community will enjoy a unity in all our efforts to keep families safe from Covid harm.
Please carefully consider your health risks in your decision to attend this Town Meeting. We do need thirty voters. In these pandemic times I believe your wellness and the health of all our citizens far outweighs the importance of any warrant questions.