Reflecting and Recognizing a Murphy, Hesse, Toomey & Lehane LLP Partner
Friday, June 28, 2020 marks the one year anniversary of John Flynn Day in Milton, MA. John Flynn, Esq. received this special recognition in 2019 for serving as Town Counsel for thirty years. Last year, members of the Select Board, Town Administration, Senator Timility, Representative Driscoll, previous members of the Board, and other elected officials celebrated Attorney Flynn last year when the day in his honor was first proclaimed.
Present day, Milton held one of the first virtual town meeting ever held in the region on the evening of June 15th and finished on the following evening, June 16th. The Town of Milton, like other municipalities, has been conducting virtual meetings since the pandemic began three months ago. However, holding a virtual Town Meeting was a new experience that took a good deal of preparation.
To meet the technological demands that have developed as a result of Covid-19, a total of eleven trainings took place just to prepare for this meeting. In addition, the Town offered training sessions for town residents. Further, security measures were put in place so that only a Milton residence would be allowed to attend the meeting. And finally, panelists received trainings to familiarize them with the virtual platform.
Town Meeting had 39 Articles to present and vote on over the course of the two nights. In attendance there were 230 town meeting members and two call-in votes from town members. There were 24 panelists, consisting of the Town Board members, the presenters that were controlling the Zoom call. The articles included PowerPoint presentations, discussions and questions from meeting members. At the close of the annual meeting, 15 articles were passed by consent agenda. Twenty-four articles were presented over the Zoom meeting and active discussions took place over the two night meeting.
In the words of John Flynn, “a lot has changed in the course of a year,” but the challenges created by Covid-19 has not prevented the town of Milton from hearing the voices of its citizens.
Attorney Felicia Vasudevan, a partner at Murphy, Hesse, Toomey & Lehane, LLP, received a favorable decision on behalf of her client, Marshfield Public Schools. The Plaintiff appealed the district court’s judgement that upheld a decision of the Massachusetts Bureau of Special Education Appeals (“BSEA”). However, as the notice was filed more than 30 days after entry, the First Circuit ultimately dismissed the appeal for being untimely. The Plaintiff also appealed the district court’s order, denying her motion to vacate. Read More
Following our Alert from March 16, 2023, Civility is Dead – The Supreme Court Rules Municipal Control of Public Speak Limited to Reasonable Time/Place/Manner Restrictions, which discussed the holding to the Supreme Judicial Court’s decision in Barron v. Kolenda and the Town of Southborough (SJC-13284), we promised to bring you more detailed guidance on developing a Public Speak policy for your public body or municipality. The Barron case involved a constitutional challenge to the Town of Southborough’s public comment policy, which attempted to impose a code of civility on members of the public who participated in public comment before public bodies. In Barron, the court interpreted the state constitution to mean that public bodies may request, but not require, that public commentators be respectful and courteous. Instead, a public body may set restrictions on reasonable time, place, and manner comments to ensure that the meeting retains an orderly and peaceable manner.