Lakeville officials discuss changing Town Meeting date to June
LAKEVILLE — Town officials are considering pushing out the date of Town Meeting from May to June to give newly elected board members more time to digest the issues and provide more updated financial information.
Fall Town Meeting voters may decide on the change, which Select Board members supported after some discussion at the May 22 meeting.
Town elections are held the first Monday of April. Town Meeting is currently held the second Monday of May.
Officials including the Select Board, Town Administrator Ari Sky, and Town Clerk Lillian Drane agreed that moving Annual Town Meeting to the first Tuesday in June would be the best option to allow new officials to acclimate to their positions before Town Meeting.
Select Board Chair Brian Day said that having a later Town Meeting would also allow the town to have the most accurate financial picture of the next year, adding that the town is still seeing changes in state funding after Lakeville voters approved the budget at the May 8 Town Meeting.
Moving Town Meeting “gives another month or so to ramp up, but it doesn’t fix the other challenge that I personally feel is important,” Day said, referring to the fact that he would like to see boards stay intact through when the measures they propose are voted on at Town Meeting. “But I feel it is a middle ground, or at least something to try.”
Before coming up with that solution, officials considered moving town elections before Town Meeting.
Moving elections would “ensure folks have the chance to interact with those that are presenting the budget,” said Day, saying that was the reason he put the item on the Select Board meeting agenda.
“It seems to be easier to change Town Meeting than town elections,” said Select Board member Evagelia Fabian, who also said moving Town Meeting before elections could be too much work for the town clerk.
The town clerk helps to finalize the measures to be voted on at Town Meeting. For elections, the town clerk prepares ballots and keeps track of candidates taking out papers to run for elected positions, which can be done months before an election.
Agreeing with Fabian, Drane said that moving elections before Town Meeting would entail “too many moving parts.”