Selectman nix request for second special Town Meeting this spring

Jan 6, 2021

The Board of Selectmen on Tuesday night denied the request for a second special Town Meeting before the planned April Town Meeting.

Because all non-financial articles from the previous two Town Meetings have been pushed off, some of those petitioners were hoping their articles could be voted on before what could be a many night spring Town Meeting, selectman Peter Teitelbaum reported. 

The selectman denied that request, and said they expected that the April meeting might be postponed as well. 

Teitelbaum said that Town Moderator Claire Smith told him her preference would be to wait for the April meeting.

Selectman Alan Slavin pointed out that the state has estimated that the general public will have access to the coronavirus vaccine in April, and that it takes two shots -- separated by several weeks -- for people to be fully protected. He said it’s likely that even the recently rescheduled March 13 Special Town Meeting may be delayed.

“I’d be very leary about doing it before I know it’s safe,” Slavin said. 

“When it comes to the public health and safety, better to err on the side of caution than not,” Selectman Jim Munise said. 

“Public safety is absolutely the most important thing, and the second most important thing is to have as many constituents as want to come to the meeting be able to come to the meeting, and that isn’t going to be possible until much, much later than we would like,” said Selectman Judith Whiteside. “So I think we’re going to be postponing it again.

Teitelbaum said that those with articles that had been delayed, including the Wareham Village rezoning and school name, should resubmit them to the Spring Town Meeting warrant.