PROVINCETOWN — The Provincetown Recovery Coalition created by Town Manager Robin Craver had its first meeting on April 22. Its goal is to move from creative thinking on distancing-while-open to public policy based on a hard question: what do the most restrictive versions of a reopened economy look like?
“Temperature testing,” said board of health chair Steve Katsurinis, a member of the coalition. “We are going keep that option on the table.” Limiting the occupancy of hotels and short-term rentals is also being discussed, he said.
The coalition includes key town staff, board members, business leaders, and other volunteers, and is meant to workshop new policies from multiple angles and advise the town manager on a phased reopening of town. The coalition has no authority, although many of its members are department heads or vote on other town boards. Its function is only to advise Craver, and therefore it falls under an exception to the state’s Open Meeting Law. Its meetings are not public and will not be recorded.
“We’re trying to come up with a model that would suggest the number of people in town that we could manage,” said Katsurinis. “It’s based on capacity … how many people, how much health care capacity, how likely is there to be spread.”
If health indicators were going in the wrong direction, the town could try to lower the number of day trippers or overnight guests. If health indicators stayed calm, restrictions might be progressively eased.
Temporary changes to licensing or other rules might be necessary. Letting restaurants spread their tables outside, or sell alcohol to pedestrians, would require hearings and votes of licensing and possibly other boards. But at this stage, envisioning a more socially distant form of tourism is the goal.
The select board voted on Monday to schedule extra meetings for themselves to learn about and discuss the coalition’s policy work. “We want to know and be brought up to date, and so do lots of other people,” said member Louise Venden. “Having that meeting — at least it’s an open meeting — will give people the comfort of knowing something on a weekly basis.”
In addition to watching the select board’s Monday discussions, members of the public can email their suggestions, questions, or concerns to [email protected].