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Westport Town Meeting: Here's how it will happen

Plans revealed for July 25 outdoor meeting behind WHS

By Bruce Burdett
Posted 7/11/20

WESTPORT — Town Moderator Steven Fors has offered a first look at plans for the Saturday, July 25, outdoor Town Meeting behind the high school.

His outline is listed below, but he …

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Westport Town Meeting: Here's how it will happen

Plans revealed for July 25 outdoor meeting behind WHS

Posted

WESTPORT — Town Moderator Steven Fors has offered a first look at plans for the Saturday, July 25, outdoor Town Meeting behind the high school.

His outline is listed below, but he highlighted in a video some details that are particularly important or that participants may find unusual.

These include — by all means wear masks unless you are medically unable to do so. While he said he cannot prevent a person who refuses from attending, “There will be an area set aside in the downwind corner to separate those who are unable or unwiling to wear masks.”

Bring your cell phones,” Mr. Fors said. While there will be a microphone available, anyone wishing to speak will be asked to call Mr. Fors who will then hold his cell phone to the microphone.

People with mobility issues will be provided with convenient parking and seating areas as well as golf cart transport if needed (see below).

Participants will be guided to their seats — no picking and choosing of seats, Mr. Fors said, to prevent close contact.

Seats will be provided but participants are welcome to bring a chair of their own that might be more comfortable, as well as umbrellas and sun screen.

Voters will be provided with colored cards — when asked by the moderator, they will raise their card to vote yes or no and the raised cards will be counted.

The process can be speeded along, he said, if speakers only rise to explain why an item deserves support or not. Don't repeat what someone else has said, he asked, or merely say whether or not you support an item. We'll know that when it comes time to vote, he said.

While their will be porta-potties, “Use toilets early,” he urged.

A short video with more detailed explanation can be seen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1q-1hB69vUY

A map of the layout is attached. The stage will be in front of the administration office entrance at the back of the high school. The dashed line running transversely represents the border between asphalt and grass.

Town Meeting, July 25

Advance Prep

General

  • July 21 at 9 AM behind the high school

  • Basic layout- see map

  • Need volunteers- call moderator at 508 496-8978

  • Rain plan- postponement to the following week

What we’re doing for safety

  • Warrant pared to essentials

  • Area sprayed for mosquitos/ticks

  • Ambulance on hand

  • Water available

What we ask of attendees

  • Arrive early

  • Wear a mask

    • Anyone declining or unable will be seated segregated area

  • Bring cell phones- explained below

  • Use toilets early

What we suggest to attendees

  • Bring their own folding chair for greater comfort

  • Wear a hat, bring an umbrella and/or apply sunscreen for sun protection

Some things that will be different

  • No guests allowed except those needed for their expertise

    • Press and others can see and hear proceedings from outside the perimeter

Arrival/Check in

General

  • Check in tables located at the back of the meeting space

What we will do for safety

  • Check in tables spread widely

  • Handouts pre-gathered and passed out by gloved volunteers

  • Temperature checks for a all

  • One-way entry/exit

    • Attendees ushered as far forward and then as wide as possible to avoid persons passing on their way

    • Space for set up for chairs brought by attendees

What we ask of attendees

  • MAINTAIN PHYSICAL DISTANCE AT ALL TIMES

  • Cooperate with ushers to facilitate one-way flow

Handicapped/ mobility issues

  • Park in south lot

  • Golf cart available for transport

  • Special check in from pavement

  • Reserved area for seating

  • Handicapped toilet

 

During meeting

General

  • Votes taken with voting cards

  • One mike 

  • No power point

    • Motions will be printed in warrant booklet

    • All encouraged to speak up if uncertain where we are in proceedings

What we will do for safety

  • To shorten duration: Consent calendar- procedure for combing several non-contentious articles to pass with one vote

  • Those wishing to speak can rise where they are to be recognized. When recognized, will call moderator’s cell phone which he will hold to a mike so speech will pass thru PA

  • If no cell phone, a mike available that will be sanitized between speakers

What we ask of attendees

  • Maintain physical distance at microphone

At Meeting’s End

What we will do for safety

  • Perimeter removed for one-way exit

What we ask of attendees

  • Maintain physical distance on exit

  • Take trash

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