SHREWSBURY – During their May 23 meeting, the Select Board announced that they would begin to hold office hours, giving the community another opportunity to interact with their elected officials.
The first office hours will be held on June 13 from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. in Conference Room A at the Town Hall (100 Maple Avenue).
The Select Board currently plans to hold office hours from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. before their first Tuesday meeting of every month. The board sent out a brief survey to residents to gauge which times, locations, and meeting places may work best for future office hours sessions.
Community members can expect up to two Select Board members to attend office hours.
Select Board Clerk John Samia first suggested the idea during the board’s May 9 meeting, noting how relatively few people take advantage of the public comment portion of their biweekly meetings. The new office hours will offer an off-camera, informal, face-to-face medium for communication and feedback.
“We hope to see residents, and we invite you to come,” Samia said.
Samia also said that the board had started to implement office hours just before the COVID-19 pandemic, and that the sessions had “gained traction” before the pandemic shutdown.
After Samia had announced office hours on May 23, Select Board Chair Beth Casavant presided over yet another Select Board meeting with no public comment.
“That’s really been our experience… nobody signs up [to speak],” Casavant said. “Hopefully, with office hours, we might have a little bit more success with engaging with the public.”