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Official Declaration of Recess and Continuance of the 2020 Groton Spring Town Meeting

     The 2020 Annual Spring Town Meeting, originally scheduled for May 18, 2020, has been recessed and continued to:
New Date: Saturday, June 13, 2020
New Time: 10 a.m.
New Location: The track and field behind the Florence Roche Elementary School, 342 Main Street.
     In the event of inclement weather, the moderator may either further postpone or if advisable under public health guidelines in effect at the time, hold the meeting in the adjacent Middle School performing arts center, cafeteria and gymnasium to enable social distancing protocols.
Declared
     Thursday, May 7, 2020, by Groton Town Moderator Jason Kauppi, as authorized under M.G.L. Chapter 39, section10A, as amended by Ch. 53 of the Acts of 2020.
Reason for the Postponement
     The Groton town moderator has determined that a public health emergency may prevent voters from attending Town Meeting on May 18th as printed in the duly posted warrant. In making this declaration, the moderator notes:
• On March 10, 2020, Governor Charles D. Baker declared a state of emergency in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts due to the outbreak of the 2019 novel Coronavirus. On March 23, 2020, the Governor ordered a ban on meetings of more than 10 individuals in confined indoor and outdoor spaces. Section 4(a) of that order provides an exception for a "municipal legislative body," i.e. a town meeting. However, the exception does not diminish the health risk to voters in attending an indoor meeting on May 18.
• On April 28, 2020, the Governor extended until May 18th his previous March 23rd order, which included the stay-at-home advisory.
• At separate meetings with the moderator on the evening of May 4,2020, all members of the Board of Health and the Select Board individually expressed a recommendation to recess and continue Town Meeting.
• In May 5, 2020, telephone conversations with the moderator, the Groton Fire Chief and the Groton Police Chief individually expressed a recommendation to recess and continue Town
Meeting.
• An outdoor venue for the continued session of Town Meeting was viewed as a preferable alternative to an indoor venue by public health and safety officials because it provides fresh air and better adherence to social distancing protocols.
Further Postponement Possible
     The moderator intends to again consult with the required town officials prior to the June 13th Town Meeting date to determine whether the public health emergency continues to prevent voters from attending Town Meeting. If so determined, the moderator could issue a second declaration of recess and continuance.
Public Notice
     Voters are asked to continue to monitor www.grotonma.gov, local news sources or public postings for the latest information regarding the scheduling of Town Meeting. During this difficult time, the Town of Groton has taken extraordinary steps to protect public health and maintain government services.
     The scheduling and postponing of Town Meeting have been necessitated by the requirements of state law and town bylaw. As the process to schedule Town Meeting unfolds, the patience and understanding of voters is greatly appreciated.
     This Declaration of Recess and Continuance shall be
• Filed with the Town Clerk.
• Posted in the same locations where the Town Meeting Warrant was posted: the front doors of Town Hall and at the Police Department.
• Posted on the town's website. • Distributed to news media.
Jason Kauppi, Moderator, Town of Groton
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