Three weeks from now, on June 20, Harvard’s Spring Town Meeting is scheduled to take place. The voters have important, expensive decisions to make that will have serious consequences for town services. Under normal circumstances a big turnout would be expected in a year with unprecedented fiscal challenges, to say nothing of a Proposition 2½ override and three costly capital projects on the docket.
But this year is anything but normal. This year nearly a third of older town residents are still under a stay-at-home advisory and are cautioned against attending any gathering of more than a handful of participants. This year many town officials fall into the same vulnerable age group (as does most of the newspaper staff). This year, with big tax increases up for discussion, some taxpayers with the most to lose would be taking an unacceptable risk just to show up and vote.
Next Tuesday night, the Board of Health, Select Board, and town moderator are meeting to decide where Town Meeting should be held so it’s safe for all residents to attend—and whether to postpone it. We all have a stake in that decision, one that could have the most serious consequences of all.