Bourne Town Administrator Anthony E. Schiavi has been appointed to a group composed of town officials, business leaders and legislators focused on getting Cape Cod’s economy back on track as the state continues to battle COVID-19. Mr. Schiavi is one of three town administrators serving on the Cape Cod Reopening Task Force.
“I was asked to be part of that task force, as the upper Cape town administrator. There are town administrators from the mid-Cape and lower Cape, too,” he said.
In an update to the board of selectmen on May 5, Mr. Schiavi said the coalition will offer guidance on reopening sectors of the Cape’s economy, and that guidance is largely predicated on recommendations from the Massachusetts Reopening Advisory Board established by Governor Charles D. Baker Jr. and led by Lieutenant Governor Karyn E. Polito.
“They’re working on a phased approach to reopening the Massachusetts economy, getting businesses open and providing guidelines for all of us on what things are going to be in place over the course of months to come,” Mr. Schiavi said.
Monday, May 18, is the key date, Mr. Schiavi said. That is when the advisory board issues its report to Gov. Baker detailing suggested guidelines, rules and procedures. He emphasized that the governor has been very clear—May 18 is not the state’s reopening date.
“It is simply the date that the report from the advisory committee is due to the governor,” he said.
Mr. Schiavi said Town of Bourne staff members have already had internal discussions about what a restart of town operations might look like and “how to integrate that into the business community in Bourne.”
Bourne Health Agent Terri A. Guarino is on a subcommittee of the Cape Cod Reopening Task Force, Mr. Schiavi said, adding that Bourne “has a seat at the table” as discussions and decisions are made for the regional economy.
Selectman Peter J. Meier said the town needs to start looking at large-scale events held in Bourne, such as Cape Cod Canal Day; the Bourne on the Fourth of July Parade; and Bike MS, the bike-a-thon to raise money for multiple sclerosis research.
Mr. Meier said he understands that the health and safety of residents is paramount at this time. Mr. Meier added that the town should “think long and hard” before deciding to cancel any events scheduled to be held in Bourne this summer.
“A lot of these things are the fabric of the community,” he said. “If there’s anything we can do to safely host these events, it will boost the morale of the town back up.”
Member James L. Potter concurred. The driving force behind creation of the town’s community engagement committee said town leaders should “take a measured approach” to any cancellations and “do what’s best for our community.”
“Everything has to be taken on its merits, in addition to whatever guidance is given by the state. We don’t know what that guidance is yet,” he said.