New executive order in Westerly to allow public participation in town meetings by internet, phone | Daily-news-alerts

WESTERLY — Responding to the uptick in COVID-19 cases, a new executive order issued by Interim Town Manager Shawn Lacey will permit public participation in meetings conducted by municipal boards, commissions, the Town Council and the School Committee via the internet or telephone. 

The order, which Lacey signed Thursday, follows an order from Gov. Dan McKee that allows municipalities relief from state laws that normally prohibit use of the internet and telephone for public meetings. A previous similar order had been allowed to expire when COVID-19 cases had leveled off.

Lacey’s order will remain in place regardless of whether McKee’s order expires under Lacey’s powers derived from the local declaration of a state of emergency that was first declared in March of 2020 by former Town Manager J. Mark Rooney.

— Dale P. Faulkner


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