GREENFIELD — Town Council has voted to move its monthly meetings to the high school, effective July 1, with the goal of improving accessibility.
The council voted unanimously this week to change the meeting location from the GCTV studios on Main Street, where it currently meets, to Greenfield High School. The motion was amended to ensure that meetings will continue to be broadcast live.
“Greenfield High School has greater handicapped accessibility, easier maneuverability, easier access to bathrooms,” said Council Vice President Isaac Mass.
The council currently meets on the third floor of the GCTV studio. There is an elevator in the building, but the space is small, limiting maneuverability. The meeting room also often reaches capacity during controversial discussions, and an overflow space is set up downstairs.
“I think this is great,” At-Large Councilor Mark Maloni said. “There have been some times when people’s safety and dignity were compromised around how this space functions.”
Because there has been concern about whether GCTV will be able to broadcast live from the high school, Council Treasurer Karen “Rudy” Renaud made an amendment, which was approved, that states the meetings will continue to be broadcast live after the move.
“This etches it in stone,” she said, adding, “It’s important to insert this language because we want these meetings to be as accessible to folks as possible.”
GCTV Executive Director Scott MacPherson previously said he has a temporary plan in place to broadcast live, and is looking for a permanent solution.
Council President Brickett Allis said his understanding is Greenfield Community Energy and Technology — the entity that will soon be rolling out a new, town-owned internet service — and GCTV will almost certainly be ready to broadcast in July.
If live broadcast is not possible, Mass said the council has several options. The majority of committee chairs can vote to move the meeting location, or the council can vote to suspend the rules that require live broadcast.
“I think that this is a fair compromise that meets to goals and values of this body as a whole,” he said.