SALISBURY – Local officials will host a virtual town hall forum Thursday to hear from year-round and summer residents, and business owners about ways to balance public health – with COVID-19 safety protocols in place – and economic concerns.

Using the Zoom videoconference platform, the virtual forum will be held from 7 to 9 p.m.

In a statement, Salisbury Town Manager Neil Harrington said, “Before we make decisions that will have a significant impact for the town, we wanted to give stakeholders a chance to voice their thoughts, ideas or concerns about how we balance public health with the reopening of business during the summer season.”

Among the decisions town officials need to make is how to handle people and traffic in and around Salisbury Beach and what, if any, new guidelines need to be put in place for summer rentals. In the coming weeks, town officials will also need to decide how, when – or if – various events in town that draw large crowds should be postponed, rescheduled or canceled, Harrington said.

Town officials won’t be deliberating during the forum. Instead, Harrington said officials want to gather as much feedback as possible to help inform decisions on what will work best for the community.

Brad Schiff, president of Pierce-Cote/Regan Communications, will moderate the forum, which is open to the public and stakeholders in town. The forum will be broadcast live on the town’s public access channel, Salisbury Community TV, Channel 12 and 18, as well as SCTVMC’s Facebook livestream (https://www.facebook.com/SCTVMC/).

“We understand this can evoke strong emotions as people’s health and, in many cases, livelihoods, are at stake,” Harrington said. “But we also believe that level-headed decision-making is a necessity. That is why we have asked Pierce-Cote/Regan Communications, an integrated communications firm, to assist us in making the meeting as productive as possible.”

Participants, who will be given a maximum of three minutes to speak, will be asked to offer thoughts, ideas and suggestions in response to the following questions:

■ How should the town handle large public gatherings?

■ How do businesses operate effectively and safely?

■ What, if any, new guidelines need to be put place for summer rentals?

■ How can the town ensure there is a clear understanding and enforcement of the established guidelines?

“The concerns and feelings of the community are first and foremost on the minds of town officials,” Harrington said.

In addition to providing feedback during the forum, participants can also email comments, ideas or concerns to the following email address: communityforum@salisburyma.gov.

For the Zoom videoconference click on this link:

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88066192915?pwd=M0lSZE1uOENKbDBOM0lFMFY1MjJzZz09

Meeting ID: 880 6619 2915

Password: 264246

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