SELECTMEN NOTEBOOK: Opening On Wilmington Board That Oversees Elections & Voting; Local Bank Donates $5K To Help Town Combat COVID-19

WILMINGTON, MA — The Wilmington Board of Selectmen held two virtual meetings last month. While their January 25th meeting made plenty of headlines, here is what you may have missed from their one-hour meeting on January 11, 2021.

  • Edward Sousa has stepped down from the Wilmington Board of Registrars after 37 years of volunteer service. Sousa resigned due to health issues. The 4-member Board of Registrars, which includes the Town Clerk, are responsible for: Maintaining accurate lists of registered voters in the town; Conducting elections; Accepting nomination papers; Certifying initiative or referendum petitions; Voter registration; Processing absentee voter applications; Processing address and party changes; Maintaining and testing of voting equipment; Preparing and publishing listing of residents; Tallying Election results; Hearing complaints of illegal or incorrect registration; and Conducting Election Recounts. Sousa’s replacement can be either Democrat or Republican as there is already one of each on the board. The Town is sending a letter to the Chairs of the Wilmington Democratic Town Committee and Wilmington Republican Town Committee to solicit nominations. The Selectmen will make the appointment. The appointee will fill the remainder of Sousa’s unexpired term through March 31, 2023.
  • Hirak Shah has stepped down from the Wilmington Finance Committee. Shah resigned after purchasing a home in Andover. The Town put out a notice advertising the vacancy. Applications were due Friday,  January 29, 2021. The appointing committee — Finance Committee Chair John Doherty, Selectmen Chair Jonathan Eaton, and Town Moderator Rob Peterson — will make the selection at an upcoming public meeting.
  • Wilmington’s Lowell Five Bank (270 Main Street) recently donated $5,000 to the Town of Wilmington to cover costs associated with the Town’s response to COVID-19, including ongoing efforts of the Health Department to conduct contact tracing and vaccinate residents. Town Manager Hull publicly acknowledged the donation and thanked the bank for its “commitment to the community.”
  • Town Manager Jeff Hull announced the Finance Committee’s meeting schedule related to the FY2022 proposed budget. He also noted the joint Finance Committee/Planning Board Public Hearing on the Town Meeting warrant articles will take place on Tuesday, March 16, 2021. The Town Meeting warrant will be mailed to residents on April 19, 2021. Annual Town Meeting is Saturday, May 1, 2021 at 9am at the Shriners Auditorium. The Finance Committee meetings will be held via Zoom and aired by WCTV: 
    • Tuesday, January 26 —  Budget Overview & General Government (7pm)
    • Thursday, January 28 — Planning & Conservation (7pm); Building Inspector/Board of Appeals (7:30pm); Board of Health (8pm)
    • Tuesday, February 2 — Department of Public Works (7pm)
    • Thursday, February 4 — Veterans Services (7pm); Elderly Services (7:30pm)
    • Tuesday, February 9 — Public Buildings (7pm)
    • Thursday, February 11 — Library (7pm); Recreation (7:30pm); Historical Commission (8pm)
    • Tuesday, February 23 — Police Department (7pm); Public Safety Central Dispatch (8pm); Fire Department (8:30pm)
    • Thursday, February 25 — Town Clerk (7pm); Information Technology (7:30pm)
    • Tuesday, March 2 — Shawsheen Tech (7pm)
    • Thursday, March 4 — Wilmington Public Schools (7pm)
  • Selectmen decided to take no action on a proposed policy that would have allowed members of town boards, committees & commissions to, in certain situations, participate remotely in their meetings post COVID-19. Several committees expressed written concerns or questions with some of the language in the policy. The Planning Board and Conservation Commission were especially concerned for members participating remotely and their ability to see visuals of maps, plans and renderings presented by applicants in-person. The IT Department, while supportive, also expressed technological concerns and noted that WCTV’s live-feed has a delay, “preventing a remote participant to react and comment in a manner benefiting a conducive public meeting.”

The Wilmington Board of Selectmen next meet on Monday, February 8, 2021 at 7pm via Zoom.

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