Town Hall is closed to the public. The meetings listed below are still posted but may change.
Eastham is holding virtual regulatory town board public hearings through online live stream. Follow the instructions below to watch and participate in the meetings.
Go to the Eastham website homepage, www.eastham-ma.gov. Scroll down to the “Popular Link” menu on the left-hand side and click “CH 18 Schedule and Live Streaming.” There, you will be able to access the upcoming meeting schedule and view meeting live streams by clicking the video box. When a live meeting is in progress, a phone number will be posted on the screen that viewers can use to call or text any input or questions. The chair of the meeting will read aloud any questions or comments you send.
Thursday, March 26
- Board of Health, 3 p.m., Earle Mountain Meeting Room, Town Hall
Monday, March 30
- Eastham 400 Commemoration Committee, 10:30 a.m., Eastham Public Library
Tuesday, March 31
- Search Committee, 4 p.m., Small Meeting Room, Town Hall
Wednesday, April 1
- Community Preservation Act Committee, 5:30 p.m., Small Meeting Room, Town Hall
Thursday, April 2
- Zoning board, 5 p.m.
Stay in Touch
The town has issued guidelines for public participation in meetings while town hall is closed to the public, and they seem to be working. Monday’s select board session found members Aimee Eckman and Jared Collins sitting with Town Administrator Jacqui Beebe around a square of tables in front of a big-screen TV filled with images of select board members Al Cestaro, Martin McDonald, and Jamie Rivers, who were calling in. As Video Services Coordinator Mike Caliri tweaked the equipment, the voices of shellfishermen, Shellfish Constable Nicole Paine, and the new owner of The Landing joined the conversation. There were only occasional blips in the live stream.
The phone number for the public to call to participate is 508-922-5983. Information about sending texts will also be displayed on the screen.
“Thank you all for your patience,” Caliri wrote in a March 18 posting, “as we continue to explore better ways to conduct non-meeting meetings!”
No Rush on Town Meeting Warrant
A review of town meeting articles was on the select board’s agenda Monday, but “we’re not going to do that,” Chair Aimee Eckman said. “We have bigger fish to fry. Everybody have fun reading the warrant, and I’m sure we’ll be talking next meeting about what our plans are for town meeting and the town election.”
Town meeting “won’t be May 4,” the date now on the schedule, Town Administrator Jacqui Beebe told the board later. “It may be sometime in June, and we’d have a second date available. I’m consulting with the moderator and town clerk and coming up with some options for you.”
Plans for the meeting, and the May 19 town election, have been thrown into a cocked hat by the pandemic. Legislation to allow delays of both events, perhaps even past the end of the fiscal year on June 30, is in the works on Beacon Hill.
Town Departments ‘Open’ for Business
“We have valiantly been trying to keep up with everything we would normally do,” Town Administrator Jacqui Beebe reported to the select board Monday. “As we go into this new phase of staying in place, we will have some things that may take a longer time or that we may not be able to do until after April 7. I hope people will be patient with us but let us know what’s critical versus noncritical.”
Staggered shifts of employees are working at town hall while it’s closed to the public, but “we are all on duty and available,” Beebe said. “I have a lot of staff working from home…. We are still doing building inspections, electrical inspections, plumbing and fire inspections.” She said water testing for rental certificates may have to wait until next week.
Beebe said the state is extending some deadlines, such as allowing residents to go conduct real estate closings without a fire inspection for up to 90 days, if the realtor and owner agree.
“It’s amazing to see our town come together,” Board Bember Jared Collins said as the meeting began. “I think we’re doing things a lot faster than the state and federal [governments]. It’s our ability to adapt.”
“Try to be patient with people, and us,” Eckman said just before adjournment. “Everybody’s sort of stressed about this. Be patient and we’ll get through this. Keep as safe as possible, and see you in a couple of weeks.”
Health Board and COVID-19
The board of health is scheduled to discuss the pandemic and the town’s response today (March 26) at 3 p.m. Also on the agenda is a review of two proposed housing developments on Route 6, one for townhouse units and the other a mixed-use commercial building with apartments on the second floor. (See separate story on page 5.) Those developments will also be reviewed by the zoning board at its April 2 meeting.
On the Run?
The last day to obtain nomination papers to run in the town election — whenever it will be held — is March 30. Contact the town clerk’s office for more information. —Ed Maroney