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Parking lot became the meeting venue


A combination of health concerns and government requirements compelled the Hilltown Board of Supervisors to hold a public business meeting in the municipal building parking lot on March 23.

It was one of the more surreal meetings in supervisors’ history – and another example of ways in which the coronavirus is disrupting seemingly American life.Because of COVID-19, the Hilltown municipal building has been closed to visitors. Still, as Township Manager Lorraine Leslie explained, Hilltown supervisors had to have a meeting because the second class township code under which the municipality operates mandates that at least one public supervisors meeting be held per month.

“We have not yet been relieved of that requirement,” said Leslie.

Lacking viable alternatives, Hilltown proceeded with the parking lot meeting, which was held with officials standing near the front door.

The purpose of being outside was, in part, to allow for social distancing to be practiced if the members of the public attended and to keep visitors from entering the building where possible contagion could be spread. Township staff continue to work in the building as of this writing.

No members of the public attended. The board approved a routine “consent agenda” – basically just paying bills.

“The meeting only lasted five minutes,” said Leslie. “We’re not sure at this point what any meeting will look like in the future. We’re taking it one day at a time.”