News Brief: GB ‘drive-in’ annual town meeting June 22

The Great Barrington Selectboard, Cutting Edge AV Inc. in Lee and Monument Mountain Regional High School staff are busy this week arranging for an outdoor sound system and an FM radio broadcast of the meeting, which voters can follow in their cars.

‘Drive-in’ annual town meeting for GB set for June 22

Great Barrington — The town’s annual town meeting is set for Monday, June 22, at 6 p.m. in the Monument Mountain Regional High School parking lot.

The Great Barrington Selectboard, Cutting Edge AV Inc. in Lee and MMRHS staff are busy this week arranging for an outdoor sound system and an FM radio broadcast of the meeting, which voters can follow in their cars. Parking lot microphones and other details are being arranged to ensure full participation.

“Everyone needs to stay in or near their vehicle, kids must be supervised — there’s no childcare this year — and the usual social distancing rules apply,” said town manager Mark Pruhenski. “We believe this will be a successful way to conduct our town’s annual business.”

Alcohol use and smoking are prohibited on school property.

The town had initially planned to conduct its annual meeting on Monday, June 22, and Thursday, June 25. The two-night format was adopted due to the increasing length of recent annual meetings.

To accommodate social distancing rules in light of COVID-19, the selectboard has returned to the one-night meeting to conduct essential business only. To reduce the meeting duration, voters will be asked to table several citizen petition items and zoning amendments until a special town meeting later this summer.

Voters planning to attend must enter the MMRHS driveway on Route 7 and proceed to the main high school entrance area. There, they will be checked in and given their annual town meeting warrants, supporting documentation and colored voting cards.

“The good news is there are no PowerPoint presentations,” said Pruhenski. “Any presentation will be handed out in paper format.”

Non-residents of Great Barrington may not attend the June 22 meeting unless they seek permission in writing and in advance, from town moderator Michael Wise at michaelwise@earthlink.net.