Several of the Plympton town committee meetings scheduled for Monday, February 24 had to be rescheduled due to the town website going down sometime around 10 a.m. Monday morning. Under the Massachusetts Open Meeting Law, a public body must give at least 48 hours’ notice (excluding weekends and legal holidays) prior to any meeting with exceptions made for emergency situations.
Towns can elect through a vote at town meeting for the town website to be the agreed upon posting location for such meetings. If that website is unavailable for viewing for six or more continuous hours, the posting is considered insufficient.
Town Clerk Patricia Detterman said that she received an influx of calls yesterday during the outage.
Meetings scheduled included a Board of Selectmen meeting, a dog complaint hearing, a Plympton School Committee meeting and public budget hearing, a Board of Health meeting, Financial Committee meetings, and a Planning Board hearing.
The selectmen’s meeting has been rescheduled for next Monday, March 2. The new days and times for the other meetings can be found on the town website.
CivicPlus is the platform that hosts the town’s website as well as many towns throughout the state including Halifax and Duxbury. CivicPlus sent an email Tuesday at 2:39 p.m. alerting the town that the problem was related to the load balancer, had been resolved.
A load balancer, intended to increase capacity and reliability, is a device that is used to distribute traffic across various servers. If one of the load balancers fails, a second one becomes active. If both fail or are misconfigured, servers are knocked offline.
Detterman requested a report from CivicPlus detailing what led to the problem and steps that were taken to resolve it.
Detterman said that she has never before experienced the website going down and jokingly said that you don’t appreciate what you have until its gone.
She was quick to say, however, “We do appreciate it; it is such a powerful tool for this office.”