Posted on: Monday, February 24, 2020


NORTH READING — The Select Board meeting previously scheduled for tonight, Monday, February 24, at Town Hall has been canceled. The public session was slated to begin at 7:15 p.m.

The cancellation was required under the state’s Open Meeting Law (OML) because the town’s website had been inaccessible for at least six continuous hours, during regular business hours at Town Hall, within the minimum 48-hour window prior to a public meeting during which the posted notice of that meeting must be accessible to the public.

According to Town Administrator Michael Gilleberto, the crash of the town’s website was not a situation unique to North Reading. On Monday morning, the servers used by the company contracted by many municipalities throughout the state to maintain their websites crashed.

Although the company was working diligently to resolve the glitch, Gilleberto explained to the Transcript that the website would have had to have been up and running again by 3 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 24 for tonight’s Select Board’s meeting to be held as scheduled, otherwise, it would not be considered a legally posted meeting under the OML.

“As is the case in many communities, the town of North Reading has adopted the use of its website as the method for 24 hour posting of public meetings,” Gilleberto said in an email statement to the newspaper.


Among the important agenda items slated to be discussed tonight was whether the Select Board should vote to call a Special Town Meeting to seek the approval of the voters on potentially purchasing 14 Concord St. (Seven Acres Poultry Farm) under the right of first refusal when agricultural land protected under Ch. 61A comes on the market. If that vote was in the affirmative, there were several other votes the Select Board would need to take in order to schedule the Special Town Meeting.

Fortunately, the Select Board has until Friday, March 6 to get all the necessary paperwork in order if the board members vote to go ahead with the previously suggested Special Town Meeting date of Monday, March 30.

The Select Board already has another meeting scheduled for this Saturday morning, February 29, to discuss the budgets of the Police, Fire and DPW for FY2021.

As of this posting, Gilleberto said the Select Board is considering combining the necessary Seven Acres agenda items for the Feb. 29 meeting.

A 48-hour window is needed to post a Select Board meeting for another date.


This situation has also affected several other meetings scheduled to be held between Monday, February 24 and Wednesday, February 26 at 4 p.m. They are:

• Youth Services – Monday, February 24

• Economic Development Committee – Tuesday, February 25

• Land Utilization Committee – Tuesday, February 25

• Middle School Council – Wednesday, February 26.

For additional information, the Town Administrator’s office may be reached by phone: 978-357-5210 or fax: 978-664-6053.

Be sure to check the North Reading Transcript’s Facebook page, website (North Reading Transcript) or Twitter (@nrtranscript) for the latest updated information on when the Select Board will schedule the vote for a Special Town Meeting to ask the voters to purchase the Seven Acres Poultry Farm land.