Rochester sets Town Meeting for June 22, elections on June 17

Apr 16, 2020

ROCHESTER — In a video meeting on April 16, the Board of Selectmen unanimously voted to set the dates for both Town Meeting and town elections for the end of June, to extend the deadline for property taxes to June 1 and to waive late interest payments on excise and property payments through June 29.

The Annual Town Election is currently set for June 17, with Town Meeting scheduled for June 22. The board can still shift the date for Town Meeting, as the warrant has not yet been posted. 

Town Administrator Susanne Szyndlar said that the state recommended that towns set a date, but also said that the town could shift the dates because the town won’t “flip the switch and start going again” once the stay-at-home order is lifted.

Rochester Council on Aging Director Cheryl Randall-Mach said she plans to hold a Candidates Night between June 3 and 5.

The board also voted to let the 12 non-union town workers that did not use their vacation time by June 30 to carry one week of vacation over from fiscal year 2020 into the next fiscal year and buy back the remaining vacation time due to extenuating circumstances.

Selectmen Brad Morse said that this solution is good because it is “fair to employees and to the taxpayer.”

Town Clerk Paul Dawson also reminded residents that they can sign up for early voting on his website and that it is beneficial because it helps residents and employees “stay that much healthier.”

Randall-Mach told Selectmen that the Council gave 34 families food the previous day as part of their monthly food pantry in partnership with the Greater Boston Food Bank.

After the meeting, Randall-Mach told Sippican Week that while the program still runs on an income-based qualification, the council now has families drive up and volunteers load the groceries into their cars rather than entering the building and signing for them.

Volunteers also now wear masks and gloves and load and unload the groceries themselves when they are picked up in New Bedford.

Randall-Mach said that the program is especially important at a time like this because many more people deal with food insecurity than one would think and “these times highlight it.” 

To apply for the program, call the Rochester Council on Aging at (508) 763-8723 to fill out an application over the phone.