By Melanie Petrucci, Senior Community Reporter
SHREWSBURY – Selectmen voted April 13 to reduce the quorum to 100 town meeting members for the 2021 Annual Town Meeting scheduled Saturday, May 22 at 8:30 a.m.
Before COVID-19, the quorum marked 50 percent plus one of the roughly 240 elected members. The quorum was previously reduced to 61 members, though, for the 2020 Annual Town Meeting that was postponed several times before taking place August 8.
This year, outgoing Town Moderator Christopher Mehne met with the board to discuss lowering the quorum again.
Hearing the presentation, Board of Selectmen Chair Beth Casavant recommended lowering the quorum to 100 members, which is 42 percent of the total number of town meeting members.
Mehne supported that proposal.
“I certainly will defer to the judgment of the Selectmen with respect to the actual number,” he said. “…We did have a very healthy attendance at last summer’s August Annual Town Meeting. But, again, it is better to be cautious and plan for the possibility that attendance will be reduced.”
Casavant noted that the 2019 Annual Town Meeting saw 196 members in attendance. The Annual Town Meeting last August saw 154, even with a reduction in the quorum.
Later in the same April 13 meeting where this quorum reduction took place, Town Manager Kevin Mizikar reviewed the Town Meeting warrant. After the review, Selectmen unanimously signed and granted their approval.
The Town Meeting will take place at the Field House at Shrewsbury High School.