PHOTOS: Hingham Annual Town Meeting 2020
By Greg Lane, June 21, 2020
Photos by Greg Lane, Hingham Current Staff
A month after its originally scheduled date, Annual Town Meeting was held Saturday afternoon at the high school.
Though the venue did not change, Town Meeting looked a bit different this year. For the first in the Town's history, the meeting was held outdoors on a synthetic turf field. Also, town staff and attendees wore face coverings, hand sanitizing stations were set up, microphones were sanitized between each use, and seating was six feet apart.
Temperatures in Hingham soared to more than 90 degrees, and the heat on the field was significantly hotter. To treat attendees with heat-related illnesses, multiple emergency medical stations were set-up.
Governor Baker recently signed emergency legislation to ease the challenges communities have faced from COVID-19 including a provision which would allow the Board of Selectmen to forego Annual Town Meeting and simply approve a financial plan based on a FY19 budget. However, although that option has been adopted by other towns, it was not explored by Hingham's Board of Selectmen. Moderator Puzo agrees with the Selectmen's decision. "Since Town Meeting constitutes Hingham’s legislature," he said, "convening the voters who comprise the Meeting before the end of our fiscal year is critical to conducting the business of the town."