Town of Southwick, MA
Hampden County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Special Town Meeting 9-30-1974 by Art. 9 as Ch. II of the 1975 Bylaws. Amendments noted where applicable.]

§ 20-1 Date of annual election and Annual Town Meeting.

[Amended STM 9-9-1976 by Art. 1; ATM 4-16-1996 by Art. 16]
The annual election of the Town officers shall be held on the second Tuesday of May of each year, and the Annual Town Meeting of each year shall be held on the third Tuesday of May starting at 7:00 p.m.

§ 20-2 Commencement of terms of office.

The terms of office of all officials elected at the Annual Town Election shall not commence until after the adjournment of the Annual Town Meeting. All other officials elected and appointed, holding office at the time of the Annual Town Election, shall continue in office until their successor has been qualified or appointed.

§ 20-3 Warrants.

A. 
The warrants for all Town Meetings shall be directed to a constable of the Town, and every Town Meeting shall be notified by posting copies of the warrant calling the same in not fewer than three public places in the Town seven days at least before the day of said meeting.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Former Subsection B, added STM 6-29-2000 by Art. 3, was repealed 5-20-2014 ATM by Art. 9.

§ 20-4 Improperly called Town Meeting.

If, by reason of mistake, defect in the warrant or other irregularities, the Annual Meeting is not properly called as herein provided, it shall be called and held as soon thereafter as may be practicable.

§ 20-5 Adjourned meeting.

Whenever a Town Meeting is adjourned to a time certain, the Town Clerk shall cause notice of the time and place of holding such adjourned meeting to be posted and published if there be time to do so.

§ 20-6 Motion to dissolve.

No motion whose effect would be to dissolve a Town Meeting shall be in order until every Article in the warrant therefor has been duly considered and acted upon, but this shall not preclude an adjournment of a meeting to a stated time.

§ 20-7 Admission to floor of hall.

At any Town Meeting held for the transaction of Town business, no person whose name is not upon the list of voters shall be admitted to the floor of the hall without the permission of the meeting, and it shall be the duty of the police officers and constables to enforce this section, but the same shall not apply to state elections or meetings for the election of Town officers, while voters are casting their ballots. The Moderator shall determine the bounds of the floor of the hall.

§ 20-8 Quorum.

Twenty-five legal voters shall constitute a quorum at the Annual or any Special Town Meeting, except such parts as may be devoted to the election of Town officers.

§ 20-9 Powers of Moderator.

The Moderator shall preserve decorum and order, may speak on points of order in preference to others and shall decide all questions of order.

§ 20-10 Written ballot.

On any question submitted for consideration of a Town Meeting, there shall be a vote taken by written ballot when 2/3 of the voters present and voting so decide.

§ 20-11 Order of speaking.

When two or more people happen to rise at once, the Moderator shall name the one to speak first.

§ 20-12 Limits on speaking.

No voter shall speak more than three times on one question without first obtaining leave of the meeting, nor more than twice until others who have not spoken shall speak if they desire.

§ 20-13 Permission to speak.

No person who is not a voter shall address the meeting until he has first obtained permission from a majority of those present and voting so to do.

§ 20-14 Appointment and announcement of committees.

All committees shall be appointed and announced by the Moderator unless otherwise specifically directed by the meeting.

§ 20-15 Consideration of certain motions.

When any voter shall make a motion, and such a motion be seconded by another, or, when a member of the Finance Committee representing a majority of the Finance Committee shall make a motion on any Article requiring the appropriation of money, the same shall be received and considered by the meeting and not otherwise.

§ 20-16 Interruptions and obstructions.

No one shall be allowed to stand up to the interruption of another, except for an incidental motion, or pass unnecessarily between the Moderator and the person speaking.

§ 20-17 Option to reduce motions to writing.

Every motion shall be reduced to writing if the Moderator so desires.

§ 20-18 Division of question.

Any voter may call for a division of the question where the sense will admit of it.

§ 20-19 Restrictions on amendments.

No motion or proposition of a subject which, in the opinion of the Moderator, if different from that under consideration shall be admitted under color of amendment.

§ 20-20 Counting when vote is doubted.

When a vote is doubted, the voters for or against the question, when called upon by the Moderator, shall raise their hands or stand uncovered until they shall be counted.

§ 20-21 Smoking prohibited.

Smoking shall not be permitted on the floor of any Annual or Special Town Meeting.

§ 20-22 Privileged motions.

A. 
When a question is before the meeting, the Moderator shall receive no motion that does not relate to the same, except a motion to adjourn or some other motion that is privileged in its nature, and shall receive no motion relating to the same, except:
(1) 
To lay on the table.
(2) 
For moving the question.
(3) 
To postpone to a time set.
(4) 
To commit to a committee or recommit.
(5) 
To postpone indefinitely or to amend.
B. 
These motions shall have precedence in the order in which they are here arranged. Under a motion to postpone indefinitely, debate upon the merit of the main question shall be allowed.

§ 20-23 Reconsideration of vote.

When a vote has passed, it shall be in order to move for reconsideration thereof so long as the vote to reconsider, or the announcement of the intent to move for reconsideration, is done during the meeting at which the original vote was taken and not at a postponed or continued portion thereof. When a motion for Chapter 20, § 20-23, Reconsideration of vote, is decided, that decision shall not be reconsidered.

§ 20-24 Parliamentary procedure.

Parliamentary procedure in accordance with the publication entitled "Town Meeting" shall be followed.

§ 20-25 Vote on matters requiring two-thirds majority.

[Added STM 10-27-2008 by Art. 6]
On Town meeting matters requiring a two-thirds vote by statute, the Town Moderator may declare the two-thirds vote without taking a count, and said declaration shall take the place of the statutory counted vote; provided that the vote so declared is not immediately questioned by seven or more voters as provided in Chapter 39, Section 15 of the General Laws. If the vote is questioned, the Moderator shall immediately put the question to another vote and take a count which shall then be recorded by the Town Clerk.