Unprecedented attendance expected at Town Meeting!



By Carol Britton Meyer, April 9, 2019

Plan to arrive at Town Meeting extra-early this year!

The proposed water system acquisition issue is expected to draw an unprecedented number of voters to the April 22 Town Meeting, and a plan is in place to accommodate up to 3,950 participants if necessary rather than the usual 800 or fewer attendees.

"At this time town officials expect to be able to accommodate a larger-than-typical meeting at multiple venues within the High School. That would be plus or minus 3,250 people," according to Town Moderator Michael Puzo. "While attendance isn't expected to exceed that capacity, the town is prepared to use the Middle School Auditorium in the unlikely event that happens. Those additional [700] seats would bring the total available seats to 3,950."

Town Meeting is set to begin on Monday, April 22, at 7 p.m. at the high school. " The doors will open at 5:30 p.m. [an hour earlier than usual] and I invite [participants] to check-in on the early side, as we expect a larger than usual turnout," Puzo said. "We will use multiple venues within the high school, including one room for guests of the meeting.  Hingham’s commitment to open town meeting is an essential element of our community’s character.  Please read the warrant carefully before the meeting and be ready to take part in the decision-making process that is open town meeting."

Attendance at Town Meeting varies. "If there is a special interest such as the East School school naming (1,535 in attendance); Ward Street field lights (2,007); and the new Middle School project (2,329), there's a larger turnout than usual," Town Clerk Eileen McCracken said. "Normally we  would get less than 1, 000 -- more likely 800 or less."

Stay tuned for updates.

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