Most meetings are being held in person, but some are still remote or virtual. Go to the eastham-ma.gov and click on the meeting you are interested in to learn about meeting locations and any remote options that may be offered.
Monday, Nov. 28
- Visitors Tourism and Services Board, 5 p.m., Town Hall
Tuesday, Nov. 29
- Conservation Commission, 8:15 a.m., Town Hall
- Conservation Commission, 6 p.m., Town Hall
Wednesday, Nov. 30
- T-Time Development Committee, 5 p.m., Town Hall
- Human Services Advisory Committee, 7 p.m., Town Hall
Thursday, Dec. 1
- Zoning Board of Appeals, 5 p.m., Town Hall
Drive-In Town Meeting?
The renovation of Nauset Regional High School has created a problem for Eastham town meeting, which happens every year at the high school gym on Cable Road. Pending approval of the renovation cost overruns at a Jan. 10 election, reconstruction of the high school will begin in February, and the gym will be used as classroom space. It will not be available to host town meeting, said Town Administrator Jacqui Beebe.
Voter turnout at the annual town meeting has been 300 to 600 people in recent years. But as many as 1,400 voters have shown up during years with high-profile questions, Beebe said.
Town staff checked out the Elks Lodge, the Sheraton hotel, the Cape Cod National Seashore Visitors Center, and the Eastham Elementary School. None are large enough, Beebe said during the Nov. 21 select board meeting. Municipalities are obligated to hold town meetings within the town itself unless there is a bylaw allowing them to do otherwise, Beebe said. Eastham has no such bylaw, ruling out the possibility of using Nauset Regional Middle School in Orleans.
Outdoor town meetings have become a thing during the pandemic. But state emergency pandemic rules that allowed town meetings to be postponed until warmer weather have expired. Now all towns must adhere to the town meeting and election dates dictated by their charters. In Eastham, town meeting must be on May 1, 2023; the election comes two weeks later.
With big-ticket items expected at this town meeting, Beebe said she is looking for a location that can accommodate 800 people.
The select board is leaning toward holding a drive-in town meeting at the Little Creek parking area, which has several hundred parking spaces and is used by the Seashore as satellite parking for Coast Guard Beach. Orleans held a drive-in town meeting during the pandemic, and it went well, Beebe said. Eastham could also rent a tent and hold the event at the T-Time property or on the high school turf field.
The board will continue to discuss options in the coming months. —K.C. Myers