Town Moderator: ‘Dress warmly’ for outdoor Dec. 12 Town Meeting

Dec 3, 2020

“Dress warmly:” That’s Town Moderator Claire Smith’s advice for the upcoming Fall Town Meeting, to be held outside at the Onset V.F.W. on Saturday, Dec. 12, at noon.

Due to coronavirus safety concerns, the meeting will be held under the canopy, with social distancing and mask requirements. Masks must be worn over the nose and mouth at all times.

Smith also asked residents to arrive early to check in.

The meeting was originally scheduled for October 26, then postponed to December 28 before being rescheduled again for December 12 with a shortened warrant covering only financial articles. The original postponement was due to coronavirus concerns, but the meeting had to be moved earlier due to the state’s refusal to certify the town’s tax rate if the meeting had not yet been held.

Since [October], the number of cases in Town and across the state have increased even more,” Smith said. “While I understand that we need to conduct the business of the Town, I believe I must always act in the best interest of all of our citizens as well.”

Smith explained that securing the town’s tax rate was vital for the town to continue its business in the new year.

Failing to do so would mean that the Town would be unable to collect much needed taxes and would most likely be forced to borrow operational monies, adding financial burdens to the taxpayers,” Smith said.

Smith asked residents to familiarize themselves with the warrant ahead of time so that the meeting could run as smoothly (and quickly) as possible.

The warrant includes the transfer of the Decas School to town ownership after the school closes in 2022, and a bylaw that would allow the town to give an exclusive townwide curbside hauling license to one private company. 

The remaining articles to be covered include routine financial business: Transferring funds remaining from funds for completed projects, paying WCTV with funds from cable companies, paying the debt for environmental remediation at Tremont Nail, and transferring funds from permit sales to the Harbormaster’s office.

Other articles — including the Wareham Village rezoning, amendments to the Town Charter, naming the new school, and a proposed nip ban — will be not be voted on.

To read the complete warrant, click here.