We wanted to provide residents with the most recent update regarding the status of our Annual Town Meeting. While initially scheduled for early April, the Annual Town Meeting has now been postponed until at least the end of June. However, it is likely that the Meeting will be delayed further. We are confident that there will eventually be an Annual Town Meeting where the business of the Town may be debated and decided, it will just not be in the typical spring time frame this year.
As with so many other facets of our lives during this unique time, this continuing extension is due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The means by which the town meeting has been extended is a provision of the Massachusetts General Laws that allows the moderator, after consultation with the selectmen as well as public health and safety officials, to make a determination that holding a meeting would create an unusual risk to public health emergency. This unique authority exists during the continuation of the state of emergency declared by the Governor. The declarations of the moderator may be for terms of no more than 30 days and can be renewed until the moderator determines that adequate precautions are in place to hold the meeting in a reasonably safe manner.
Precisely when the moderator along with the boards and authorities involved can determine that a meeting with uncurtailed attendance allowing for Wayland’s vigorous debate and sufficient safety precautions in place, is not certain. It could well be sometime in the early fall. Until then, the town will be able to operate on 1/12 estimated budgets each month as currently allowed by the Massachusetts Department of Revenue.
The Moderator and the Board of Selectmen discussed the possible scenarios, a host of logistical issues, and the timing of approving certain articles at the Board’s meeting on May 27th. As with so much in this unusual time, events are developing sometimes daily, and there are few definitive answers. Eventually, a meeting will be held, a budget adopted and other matters in the original Warrant considered.
The Board of Selectmen acting with the Town Administrator and Moderator will keep the town informed through the normal channels of communication as to any new developments and determinations.
Thank you for your patience and understanding. Should there be any questions, please feel free to contact either one of us.
Very Truly yours,
Dennis J. Berry, Moderator
Cherry C. Karlson, Chair, Board of Selectmen