WINCHESTER - Town Moderator Peter Haley, who isn’t seeking reelection and, therefore, won’t be moderator at the next session of town meeting in April, nonetheless requested that spring Town Meeting be held virtually as it was last year (and as fall Town Meeting was last November).

The Select Board approved his request. His full request reads:

“Dear Select Board Members,

“In view of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing federal, state and local advisories to practice social distancing and avoid the congregation of crowds, I request approval to allow the conduct of Winchester’s upcoming Spring Town Meeting, scheduled to commence April 26, 2021, through remote participation. I propose that the Meeting use a combination of: (1) the Zoom videoconferencing platform, and (2) the online VVoter module provided by our electronic voting vendor, Option Technologies. Options Technologies will additionally be providing staff to assist the Town in facilitating the conduct of the meeting.

“I certify that, with and through the assistance of two technicians from Options Technologies, the Town Clerk, MaryEllen Lannon, the Information Technologies Director, Matthew Griffin, a School Department IT staff member, the Assistant Town Manager, Mark Twogood, and various other Town staff, I have tested all components of the system described above and am satisfied that this system will enable our meetings to be conducted in substantially the same manner as if they had occurred in person at a physical location.

“I certify that the system (i) allows the moderator, town meeting members, town officials and any other interested members of the public to identify and hear the moderator and each town meeting member who attends and participates in the remote meeting, as well as any other individuals who participate in the meeting; (ii) provides the ability to determine whether a quorum is present; (iii) allows participants to request recognition by the moderator and makes such requests visible to the meeting participants and the public; (iv) allows the moderator to determine when a town meeting member wishes to be recognized to speak, make a motion, or raise a point of order or personal privilege; (v) enables the moderator to recognize a town meeting member, town official or other individual and enable that person to speak; (vi) provides the ability to conduct a roll call or electronically recorded vote; (vii) allows any interested members of the public to access the meeting remotely through WinCam for purposes of witnessing the deliberations and actions taken at the town meeting; (viii) allows members of the public to participate in debate through the submission of statements for or against a motion; and (ix) provides for the town meeting to be recorded and available for future viewing.

“I further confirm that I have consulted with Winchester’s Commission on Disability regarding system accessibility.

“Thank you for your consideration of this request.”

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