June 9, 2021 by Carol Britton Meyer
The COVID-19 state of emergency in Massachusetts will expire next Tuesday, June 15, at which time the suspension of certain provisions of the Open Meeting Law -- including the ability for public bodies to temporarily meet remotely -- will also end unless pending state legislation to extend that option passes before then.
Baker's proposed legislation, if approved, would extend measures providing for a temporary suspension of certain Open Meeting Law requirements as mentioned above through the summer, along with special permits for expanded outdoor dining at restaurants, and billing protections for COVID-19 patients.
"Unless the legislation passes before then, the Select Board and other town boards and committees should be prepared to resume meeting 100 percent in person starting June 15," Select Board Chair Joseph Fisher said at Tuesday night's meeting. "We'll be looking at different options in the future" that could potentially provide both the required in-person meeting and another option for remote participation, but nothing has yet been decided.
On Monday night, School Committee Chair Kerry Ni announced that their June 21 meeting will be held in-person. School officials are working on a hybrid model in which the public could participate remotely even when the Committee meets in-person, but the details have not been worked out yet. This would continue to allow for a high rate of participation from parents and others who are unable to easily attend in-person meetings.
In other business at Tuesday's Select Board meeting, Assistant Town Administrator Michelle Monsegur reported that on June 1, Town Hall and the Senior Center returned to full in-person staffing.
"Next Monday, June 14, Town Hall and all town offices, the Senior Center, and the Recreation Department’s Fitness Room will reopen to the public," she said. "Unvaccinated individuals should continue wearing face masks and practicing social distancing when accessing municipal facilities. Doing so will help protect themselves and others from COVID-19."
Hingham Public Library reopened to the public during daytime hours on June 1. The library will return to a normal operating schedule, including resumption of evening hours, effective June 14. Visit https://www.