Edgartown to try again for special town meeting quorum

Edgartown to try again for special town meeting quorum

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Edgartown voters will gather at the Old Whaling Church for a special town meeting October 25 at 7 pm. — File photo by Rebecca Sherman

Edgartown selectmen rescheduled a special town meeting to Tuesday, November 1, after the meeting scheduled for Tuesday, October 25, fell just short of a quorum.

A total of 159 people, or five percent of the town’s registered 3,180 voters are required to conduct town business.

The crowd assembled by 7:20 at the Old Whaling Church fell 20 voters short. The trickle of late arrivals stopped, leaving those seated in the pews with little recourse but to stare hopefully at the open doors.

“On behalf of the board, I apologize,” chairman Art Smadbeck said. “We’re not going to be able to make the quorum this week. Make phone calls, bring a friend next week.”

On the warrant were 15 articles, including a range of financial housekeeping items, a step to prepare for selling the Captain Warren House, and a measure to site mobile phone technology and antennae atop the blue silos at Katama Farm.

Cancellation of the special town meeting is already raising questions about changing the town bylaw to make it easier to reach a quorum.

“We have tried on many occasions to put the quorum at a number, and we might try that again,” Mr. Smadbeck said. “It’s something we will talk about.”