Patrick's town meeting now an 'informal meet and greet'

When the governor's office rolled out plans for an 11-stop, town meeting tour of the state in early July, Boston residents were cheered to see that it included a stop locally. In a press release in July, the governor's office included Boston's Caribbean Day Parade on Aug. 23 as one of the 11 town meetings. Together, the meetings were said to be "part of the Administration's efforts to make state government accessible for all people in the Commonwealth," according to the press release.

This week, though, Patrick's office switched gears. After a Tuesday inquiry from the Reporter seeking more details about the event, the Boston date was abruptly pulled off of a list of scheduled town meetings that had been posted at the governor's state website for over a month.

On Wednesday, Patrick spokesperson Becky Deusser explained that Patrick will walk in the parade and then have a "meet-and-greet" afterwards. But the event will not follow the format of a town meeting, like all of the other stops across the state, in which Patrick fielded questions from constituents and discussed a wide range of policy decisions.

When asked why the governor would not convene a town meeting for residents of Boston's neighborhoods, Deusser said that one had been held in Milton. That meeting was held on July 21st, when the Boston event was still listed as a town meeting. As part of the summer tour, Patrick's administration also convened a series of four public meetings with his cabinet officials in Amherst, Lowell, New Bedford and Worcester.