Council considers shifting monthly meetings

by Geoff Fox

Concerns about the turnout from citizens at town meetings and a possible conflict with church services on Wednesday evenings gave town officials a reason to discuss the day and time of future town meetings.

Town meetings are held on the second Wednesday of each month at 7 p.m. That’s when at least two local churches – Grace Christian Fellowship and Hancock Assembly of God – hold services at the same time.

Mayor Ralph Salvagno said a change in the day or time of the monthly council meeting could be worth considering to see if public participation would increase.

The only days that would work for holding a meeting would be either a Tuesday or Wednesday, he said.

“It’s going to be problematic,” Salvagno said, noting he has hospital obligations as a physician built in “forever” on Tuesdays.

Interim Town Manager David Smith suggested the council consider an earlier time on Wednesdays to acommodate people who attend church services that evening.

Salvagno also suggested moving the meeting time up an hour to give those heading to church an opportunity to be involved at the beginning of meetings.

David Kerns, who was sitting in the audience, made the suggestion of holding the meetings on a different day every other month or quarterly.

“I think it’d be nice to give the opportunity once, twice a year on a different day,” Smith said.

The question about future town meeting days and times is expected to be on the March meeting agenda for further discussion.