The Annual Meeting of the Rollinsford Water and Sewer District is scheduled for Wednesday, June 24, 2020 at 6:30 pm.
A number of issues, however, relating to the meeting need to be considered:
1. The COVID-19 epidemic is still a substantial concern for voters of the District. The Governor’s Executive Orders have not clarified how public meetings can or should be held. The Executive Orders have provided extensive guidance to business and recreation but are unclear how, for example, the Annual Meeting of the District could be held.
2. The American Legion has moved the Annual Meeting from the Riverview Room to the Main Room (“The Big Room”) downstairs because the Riverview room could not accommodate the anticipated participants with appropriate social distancing. The Main Room, however, when measured for a safe meeting considering appropriate social distancing can only accommodate 80 people. The Legion cannot allow unlimited attendees because of responsible use of their facilities and potential liability. The Legion does not want to become with unlimited participants a COVID-19 “hotspot.”
3. Because of the limitation on participants for the Annual Meeting, there is a substantial risk that qualified voters will not be able to attend. Denying a qualified voter the right to attend and vote on District matters is contrary to both State and Federal law and could result in any vote at such a meeting being invalidated.
4. The Moderator, Ken Shorey, in consultation with District Counsel, the Offices of Secretary of State, Attorney General and the NH Municipal Association have proposed a procedure to address discussion and vote of the Warrant Articles and nomination and vote of officers. This proposal suggests splitting the Annual Meeting into three parts: a deliberative session to discuss (and possibly amend) warrant articles and nomination of officers. The actual vote on officers and warrant articles would then take place a week later using “drive by voting” as has been used in several other communities including Jaffrey and Hillsborough NH. The final session on the same day as the voting would be to announce the vote and formally adjourn the meeting. This process is similar to that used by SB2 towns with some minor variations.
The proposed procedures will be presented at the session slated for June 24, 2020 and if accepted by the voters will be immediately implemented.
For a more detailed explanation see the following link for the full document. Hard copies of the proposed Moderator’s Proposed Procedures will be available at the Post Office and the lobby of the Legion (entrance to the Canteen).