Town of Westminster, MA
Worcester County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Meeting of the Town of Westminster as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Advisory Board — See Ch. 4.
Attendance by representatives of boards and committees — See Ch. 9, Art. II.
Town Clerk — See Ch. 19.
Town Counsel — See Ch. 22.
Board of Selectmen — See Ch. 53.
[Adopted STM 11-12-1974 by Art. 2 as Art. II of the 1975 Bylaws]
[Amended ATM 5-4-2013 by Art. 39]
Every Town Meeting shall be called by posting attested copies of the warrant on the Town website and at not fewer than two public places within the Town, which shall include the Town Hall and the Post Office; said postings to be not less than seven days before the date of the Annual Town Meeting and not less than 14 days before a Special Town Meeting.
[Amended ATM 5-3-1980 by Art. 30; ATM 4-23-1988 by Art. 52; ATM 6-5-1993 by Art. 3; STM 10-26-2004 by Art. 19; STM 11-27-2007 by Art. 16]
The Annual Town Election shall be held on the last Tuesday in April, and the Annual Town Meeting shall be held on the first Saturday of May in each year.
[Amended STM 10-25-1993 by Art. 25; ATM 5-4-2002 by Art. 46]
The polls shall be open for the election of Town officers from 7:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday, and Special Town Elections on weekdays, from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
[Amended STM 10-26-2004 by Art. 19; STM 11-27-2007 by Art. 16]
The business session of said Annual Town Meeting shall be convened at 1:00 p.m., and if there remain articles unacted upon at 6:00 p.m., the Meeting shall be adjourned to the following Saturday at 1:00 p.m., unless otherwise voted.
All Annual and Special Town Meetings shall be held in the auditorium of the elementary school and/or gymnasium or Town Hall, if possible.
Special Town Meetings may be held on any weekday, but not earlier than 7:30 p.m., except that on Saturday they shall not be held earlier than 1:00 p.m.
Attendance at Town Meetings shall be limited to registered voters of the Town, except that other persons may be admitted to a separate section reserved for nonvoters as determined by the Moderator.
No person not a voter shall address the meeting without first obtaining consent of a majority of the meeting.
No person shall speak more than twice upon any question, except to correct an error or make an explanation, until all others who have not spoken upon the question and desire to do so shall have an opportunity. No single speech or presentation shall exceed 15 minutes in length unless consent is given by the Meeting.
At least four days before the day fixed in the warrant for the Annual Town Meeting, the Selectman shall make available to the voters copies of the Annual Town Report at the Town Hall.
Any person who is employed as an attorney or agent by another interested in any matter under discussion at a Town Meeting shall disclose the fact of his employment before speaking thereon.
[Adopted STM 11-12-1974 by Art. 2 as Art. III of the 1975 Bylaws]
The Moderator shall preserve decorum and order, may speak to points of order, in reference to others, and decide all questions of order.
Articles in the warrant shall be acted upon in their order, unless otherwise directed by vote of the Town.
All motions involving any expenditure of money shall be in writing when so requested by any voter or at the discretion of the Moderator.
When a question is under debate, motions shall be received in the following order of precedence:
To adjourn.
To table the question.
To postpone to a time certain.
To postpone indefinitely.
To amend.
For the previous question.
A motion to pass over an article shall be debatable.
No vote shall be reconsidered except upon motion made within one hour of such a vote. A two-thirds vote shall be required for such reconsideration. When a motion for reconsideration shall have been decided, such decision shall not be open to further reconsideration.
The conduct of the meeting, insofar as it is not specifically provided for by law or by these bylaws,[1] shall be determined by the rules of parliamentary law contained in "Town Meeting Time."
Editor's Note: "These bylaws" refers to the bylaws included in Division 1 of the Code of Westminster.
When an article comes before any session of the Town Meeting, the proponent(s) shall be recognized first for the purpose of making a motion under the article and then for making a presentation in support thereof, if the motion is seconded. If the proponent is an elected or appointed board or committee within which there is a minority position in opposition to the article, a spokesman for that position will be recognized next. Thereafter, the Advisory Board shall be recognized if it wishes to speak on the article, followed by the Planning Board and/or any other board or committee which is required by law to report on the article.