At 5:40 on March 12, Gov. Baker issued an Executive Order suspending certain provisions of Open Meeting Law (OML) due to C-19 (Coronavirus). Some trials and access to the full Order can be found at this link. https://www.mma.org/gov-signs-order-suspending-parts-of-open-meeting-law-to-enable-local-decision-making-during-covid-19-emergency/
The key provisions are that meetings are no longer required to be in a space physically accessible to the public but must be accessible by alternative means – telephonic, live stream or other audio, for example – which permits open participation by the public. Remote participation for officials is also acceptable provided a quorum is online for the meeting. Municipal hardship conditions are laid out as well.
Most major OML provisions – for public notice, minutes, availability of public information and the like – remain in effect and are unchanged.
This Executive Order essentially requires the same transparency and participation as OML stipulates, but gives a lot of flexibility for towns to develop alternative solutions to permit public participation in the age of COVID-19.
It is not yet clear whether and how this will affect the way public meetings of Truro Town Boards and Committees will proceed. We will keep you posted. In the meanwhile, if any deliberations in Town are of interest, we suggest you visit the Town website for updates at https://www.truro-ma.gov