Reading, MA — Town Moderator Alan Foulds released a statement regarding the status of Reading Town Meeting.
Hello Fellow Readingites and Members of Town Meeting,
I hope this note finds you safe and healthy.
After consulting with the Select Board and local public health officials it has been determined that it is not safe to convene the 2020 Annual Town Meeting on the planned date of April 27. At its meeting on April 15, the board, under its authority in Mass. General Laws chapter 39, section 9, voted to delay the opening session until June 15. In accordance with that vote, I am declaring a recess and continuance of the opening session of the Annual Town Meeting pursuant to my authority under section 10A of the same chapter.
Realizing that conditions may not have improved sufficiently to hold the meeting at that time the Select Board will review that date at its scheduled May 27 meeting. If a further delay is needed the board will likely delay Town Meeting again. Either way, I will declare a further recess and continuance on that date, either to June 15 or to another date, in conformance with the Select Board vote.
Meanwhile, a task force has been established to work through logistics for making the meeting as safe as possible. That group will work on finding a location that provides opportunities for maximum social distancing. Be assured that the meeting will not take place until the necessary safeguards have been determined and the Governor has lifted the ban on large gatherings.
When Town Meeting is finally held it likely will be scaled down, so that we meet for as short a time as possible. For instance, oral reports would be presented on paper or video beforehand and many less essential decisions would be deferred until the fall. Those actions will allow the meeting to concentrate on the operating budget and other financial matters.
We will continue to keep you informed of new developments, and please check the Town website for the latest news.
Thank you for your patience through these most unusual and trying times.