Selectmen to discuss reducing Town Meeting quorum

Selectmen on Monday night will discuss whether to reduce the number of people needed to hold next week’s Special Town Meeting.

Abington’s Town Charter currently requires 150 registered voters to show up at town meetings in order to conduct business and take votes. However, in recognizing that fewer people may want to sit in a crowded auditorium or gymnasium during a pandemic, Beacon Hill passed earlier this year allowing communities to temporarily reduce town meeting quroums.

Doing so requires the Board of Selectmen to hold a posted public hearing, take testimony from the public, and then take a vote.

The hearing is scheduled to start at 6:30 p.m. in the Cotter Room of Abington Town Hall. Special Town Meeting is scheduled for next Tuesday, Nov. 17, at 7 p.m. at the Middle/High School Auditorium.

Selectmen voted back in May to reduce the needed quorum for the Annual Town Meeting to 50. It thought at the time the vote would apply to all future Town Meetings held during the ongoing public health emergency. Town lawyers determined last month — days before the Special Town Meeting’s original date — that the board’s vote did not apply and they had to hold another public hearing. So here we are.

Tonight’s meeting will be broadcast live on Abington Community Access & Media’s town government channel.

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