NORTH SMITHFIELD – The North Smithfield Town Council is considering changing the day for their bi-weekly regular meetings from the first and third Monday of each month to the second and fourth Thursday.
“It frees up Mondays when we have the holidays. It would definitely help with elections because that’s usually the beginning of the week,” said Town Clerk Joanne Buttie in recommending the change. “Staff is here, which I like.”
If the change is ultimately approved, the Town Council would switch schedules with the Planning Board, which currently meets on Thursdays. Town Solicitor David Igliozzi is contracted to attend both boards’ gatherings, and noted that only a trade of dates between the two would work for his schedule.
Igliozzi also serves as solicitor in Glocester, where he is currently obligated to attend meetings on the first and third Thursdays of each month.
“I built my schedule around that,” Igliozzi told councilors.
While most on the council seemed amenable to the change, Councilor John Beauregard said that for him, it could be difficult.
“I’m not a fan of it,” Beauregard said. “Not a lot goes on on Mondays. It’s a good night for a meeting. Thursday night – I’ve got a family. I’ve got a daughter who plays sports. Thursday nights are going to be a lot tougher, for me anyway. Life is busier on a Thursday.”
The potential schedule change was first discussed earlier this year, but the issue was postponed at the time, as Buttie had already published the council’s 2023 meeting dates on the Secretary of State’s website.
Councilor Paulette Hamilton said she likes the idea.
“I agree with you on the staff being around. I think that’s really important if we need something,” Hamilton said. “People are already here. They don’t have to come back another time. I think it would be much more effective.”
Buttie said that Town Planner Mark Carrulo said he’s fine with the change, which she noted would eliminate confusion caused by Monday holidays.
“We change quite a few Mondays to make it on a Tuesday due to holidays,” Buttie said.
The council tabled the issue to their next meeting, with President Kimberly Alves saying that they had to check if the change would work for members of the Planning Board.
“We have to make sure your schedule can work,” Alves added to Beauregard.
If approved, town officials noted that the switch to Thursday council meetings would start in January of 2024.