Sununu: It's Up To Local Officials To Decide On Postponing Town Meeting

Mar 13, 2020

Credit Sarah Gibson for NHPR

Governor Chris Sununu is reminding town officials that it is their call when it comes to deciding whether to go forward with town meetings as New Hampshire deals with fallout from the coronavirus.

The advice comes as the state is ramping up efforts to address the coronavirus.

In a statement, Sununu said “individual comfort levels" should guide towns' thinking on postponing town meeting.

"The state does not have the authority to force communities to postpone," Sununu said. "The state will work with any community that chooses to postpone understand their options and address any issues that may arise.”

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Sununu’s comments came as the state was activing its emergency response center over COVID-19, and after Attorney General Gordon MacDonald issued a memo outlining postponement procedures.

That memo said moderators need to inform citizens of meeting postponements and the rescheduled dates by posting such notices on town websites, at the meeting place, and in other public areas.

Sununu’s office did not immediately respond to when asked if the governor had any specific advice for local officials weighing cancellation decisions, but some communities are taking action. Loudon has pushed off its meeting for at least two weeks. 

The New Hampshire Municipal Associated says MacDonald’s memo ”opened the door” for other communities to do the same.