Reading, MA — Final preparations are being made for a virtual Town Meeting this Monday, June 15 at 7:30 pm. Using the Zoom Webinar platform, Town Meeting members will be able to participate in Town Meeting from their homes using laptops, phones, or tablets. According to Moderator Alan Foulds, Town Meeting members should have already received information via email regarding training dates and times. “If a member has not yet received the information they should reach out to the town clerk immediately.” Foulds requested.
“If a member does not have the capability to use Zoom, contact should be made with Town Hall,” Foulds suggested Town Meeting members who do not have Internet access or have other challenges, can attend Town Meeting at the RMHS Performing Arts Center. Though Foulds stressed that for the sake of safety, members should attend virtually if at all possible. “We do not want anyone to be disenfranchised.” Foulds continued.
Foulds also shared that virtual precinct meetings have been occurring all week, with training at the end of each meeting. An additional training session for those who missed the precinct meetings will be on Friday, June 12 at 3:00 pm. At each training, members will learn how to log on to Zoom, how to raise their hand and be recognized to speak, as well as how votes will be recognized and recorded.
Additionally, there will be a test Town Meeting this coming Saturday, June 13 at noon. Foulds urged all Town Meeting members to attend, to get a feel for how the real meeting will work. The plan is to have a few “mock warrant” items with amendments and other activities that typically occur in a town meeting. “We want it to be as close to the real thing as possible,” Foulds commented.
Registration information for both the test meeting as well as for the actual meeting will be sent to Town Meeting members on Friday evening. Members having difficulty with the Zoom application should email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The general public can observe the meeting by tuning in to RCTV on Monday at 7:30 pm. It will also be streamed live on Facebook and Youtube. If a non-member wants to comment on a particular motion an email, specifying the article number, together with the text of the comment should be sent to email@example.com and, if, within the subject matter of the article, it will be read at the meeting.