For the first time during her nearly eight years in office, Mayor Patricia Murphy was required Monday to postpone a Town Council meeting to Wednesday because of the lack of a quorum.

The mayor said she was aware at least one council member, Thomas Esposito, would be absent due to family needs, but said she had been unaware four others would also be unable to attend.

The meeting agenda was relatively light, but a handful of people came for appointments and information related to grant funds.

Before the meeting was called off, resident Mary Boland did ask those who were gathered to do the standard Pledge of Allegiance, with a moment of silence to remember the military personnel who died recently in Afghanistan.

The mayor said she had no prior notice of conflicts and said attendance is generally good.

She said she suspects this was an anomaly due to unexpected commitments. Council members are all volunteers, but selected by the town's voters.

Those who did not attend were Republicans Pete Bass, Cecilia Buck-Taylor, Robert Guendelsberger and Mr. Espositio, and Democrat Peter Mullen.

Mr. Bass said he had intended to attend, but at the last minute, his young daughter became ill and he was needed at home.

"The stars apparently aligned such that this (meeting time) didn't work and others also had an issue," Mr. Bass said.

Asked whether the council should weight the need for summer meetings, Mr. Bass said he would not advise that because, "we need to do the people's business.''

Fortunately, he said, the council had the flexibility to reschedule and he expected there would be a Wednesday quorum.