Mattapoisett postpones Town Meeting, gives election details

Jun 8, 2020

MATTAPOISETT — Selectmen voted to delay Town Meeting to a date to be determined, likely in August or September, to get a better idea of what the state would provide for funding. The board also heard how the mid-June election will work.

Town Administrator Michael Lorenco said at a June 8 meeting, when it comes to the state, “I don’t even know if they will have a budget in the next two months, to be honest.”

He said if the state’s revenue losses continue through May and June they will supersede its stabilization fund, the money that it has saved up for unexpected expenses. 

The Selectmen both raised concerns that if the town does not know the amount of state aid that it would need, it could end up having to readjust if aid is less than anticipated, or cut too much if state revenues come in higher than they anticipated in a conservative scenario. 

Governor Charlie Baker passed legislation allowing the town to head into the next fiscal year with 1/12 of its current budget per month. But, that is only allowed for three months of the next fiscal year. That means Town Meeting would have to happen before Sept. 30. 

The one concern that Selectmen raised with postponing Town Meeting was figuring out where to hold it. Hosting that many people while school is in session or sports are in season might mean extra sanitizing at Old Rochester Regional High School, where the meeting is usually held. 

Selectman Jordan Collyer said that worst comes to worst, the town could hold the meeting on a tent on the soccer field. 

Selectmen also heard what the June 16 town election will look like. Town Clerk Catherine Heuberger said she volunteered at the Plymouth elections to see what worked and what did not. 

Her volunteers will be provided with masks and gloves, and only two people will man the voting tables at the front and back of the Old Hammondtown polling station. There will be a worker in the lobby to control lines, and police outside to monitor the situation there. 

Voters will be encouraged to bring pens, and voting stations will be sanitized throughout the day. 

Selectmen approved the warrant to post June 9.