Topics: Town Meeting

Take Me Out To The...Town Meeting

By: Alan Pollock

Annual Session To Be Held At Veterans Field CHATHAM — There won’t be any baseball played on Veterans Field this summer, but on June 22, town officials will be pitching an abbreviated town meeting warrant to a gathering of socially-distanced voters. For safety during COVID-19, the town’s annual legislative session is being held outdoors at 6 p.m. rather than at the middle school. It’s certainly the first tim...

Open-Air Town Meeting Set for June 20

By: Ed Maroney

ORLEANS - There's no word yet on whether picnic lunches will be encouraged, but the selectmen have decided that the 2020 annual town meeting will be held alfresco. The town's annual legislative session will be held outdoors Saturday, June 20, at 10 a.m. in the center of Nauset Regional Middle School's running track.  The open-air session will be postponed if it rains. Town meeting usually takes place in the...

HARWICH — Selectmen are awaiting legislation making its way through Beacon Hill that includes provisions on how municipalities in Massachusetts can address town meetings and funding a budget moving into FY21. Interim Town Administrator Joseph Powers said legislation has been approved in the Senate that will allow town meeting actions just on financial issues. But there has been no clear definition on what “fin...

COVID-19 Prompts Deep Spending Cuts CHATHAM — Thanks to the pandemic, voters at the annual town meeting scheduled for June 22 will likely see some extreme social distancing, along with a warrant stripped down of big-ticket spending articles and a sobering town budget. Selectmen chose the new date for town meeting on Monday, but a provision is in place that allows the town moderator to postpone the session f...

HARWICH — Critical budget items will be the focus of the June 22 annual town meeting. Other articles, especially those likely to generate prolonged discussion, will be postponed. That is, if the town can hold the session on June 22. “I’m still skeptical we’ll have a June annual town meeting,” Selectman Michael MacAskill said last Friday. If the meeting is held, Board of Selectmen Chairman Larry Ballantin...

Harwich Town Meeting And Elections Moved To Late June

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — The annual town meeting and local elections have been moved to late June in the hope that the COVID-19 pandemic will have dissipated, and health officials will be satisfied that social distancing is no longer necessary and residents will once again feel comfortable congregating. Selectmen last week set June 22 as the date for the annual meeting, and the town election will follow on June 30. The st...

If Cape Cod followed Vermont’s example, all our worries about postponing town meeting would be unnecessary. Up in the Green Mountain State, almost all communities hold their annual budget-setting sessions on Town Meeting Day, the first Tuesday of March. It’s a state holiday. Vermont’s work is done for this year, but Massachusetts towns have been tripped up in the middle of the process by a pandemic disease tha...

Warrant Takes Shape For 56-article Annual Town Meeting

By: Alan Pollock

HARWICH — From forging a new wastewater partnership and purchasing fire apparatus to declaring a climate emergency, voters will be asked to consider a varied 56-article warrant at the May 4 annual town meeting. Selectmen received the draft warrant last week and will review it and make recommendations on the articles before closing and signing the warrant on March 23. In financial articles, voters will be as...

Fate Of West Chatham Facility Depends On May Vote CHATHAM – Town officials will begin developing designs and cost estimates for a new senior center at 1610 Main St. after voters at Saturday's special town meeting agreed to accept the donation of the 1.3-acre parcel. The fate of a new senior center will depend on a vote in May on construction funds. Owner William Marsh's last-minute decision to donate the...

CHATHAM – Voters spent some $60 million at the annual town meeting, and while the major expenditures received coverage last week, there were numerous smaller appropriations that didn't make the news but nonetheless deserve attention. There were also several articles that were not acted upon, including changes to the Monomoy Regional School district agreement. Although the changes mostly involved removing referen...

Voters Reject Shark Barrier But Pitch In For VFW

By: Alan Pollock

CHATHAM — By the slimmest of margins, voters Tuesday rejected a plan to seek a shark detection and deterrent system for Oyster Pond Beach. But they passed most other articles in the second and final night of the annual town meeting, and soundly approved a $325,000 plan to acquire property interests in the VFW to support renovations to its building. Voters approved several bans on consumer plastics, and decided ...

CHATHAM – Despite warnings that delays would escalate costs, concerns about the size and location of a new senior center led voters to reject the $6.6 million project and send it back to the drawing board on the first night of the annual town meeting. Also Monday, voters approved a zoning bylaw that will allow the creation of apartments in single-family homes, which advocates say will increase the stock of mar...

ORLEANS — Town Meeting agreed Monday to spend $47 million on wastewater infrastructure over the next three decades pending a favorable debt exclusion vote at the town election May 21, but rejected spending $1.5 million to acquire a conservation restriction on 18 acres of Sipson Island. “We have the Main Street sewers in the ground,” Paul Davis said from the floor, “on time and under budget. This article toni...

CHATHAM — By the slimmest of margins, voters Tuesday rejected a plan to seek a shark detection and deterrent system for Oyster Pond Beach. But they passed most other articles in the second and final night of the annual town meeting, and soundly approved a $325,000 plan to acquire property interests in the VFW to support renovations to its building. Voters approved several bans on consumer plastics, and decided ...

CHATHAM – The annual town meeting begins Monday at 6 p.m. at the Monomoy Regional Middle School on Crowell Road. Voters should prepare to settle in for a longer-than-usual annual legislative session covering a number of significant topics, including funding for a new council on aging facility, a controversial accessory dwelling unit bylaw, funding for a shark barrier at Oyster Pond, bans on plastic bottles and st...

Pet Cemetery Will Be Hot Topic At Town Meeting

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — The pet cemetery debate is expected to be the hot topic in town meeting, with three articles addressing the burial grounds on Queen Anne Road. Town meeting will begin Monday at 7 p.m. at the community center on Oak Street with voters facing 69 articles. The major financial issue facing voters is a debt exclusion request estimated at $4.6 million for the reconstruction of 2.25 miles of Lower County Ro...