The legislative powers of the town shall continue to be exercised by a town meeting open to all registered voters of the town.
The moderator, as provided for in Section 3-3, shall preside at all sessions of the town meeting, but the moderator shall have no vote unless those voters present and voting are equally divided. He/she shall at the first session of the town meeting following each annual town election appoint a deputy moderator to serve in the event of his absence or disability, provided that the town meeting ratifies such appointment. In the event of the absence or disability of the moderator and deputy moderator the town meeting shall elect from those voters present at the town meeting a temporary moderator to act during such absences or disabilities. The moderator shall perform such duties as may from time to time be assigned to the office of moderator by by-law, rule or other vote of town meeting.
There shall yearly be held an annual town meeting, to transact business relating to the prudential affairs of the town, which shall be held on the date fixed in the by-laws of the town.
Special town meetings shall be held at the call of the Board of Selectmen at such times as it may deem appropriate and whenever a special town meeting is requested by the voters of the town in accordance with procedures made available by the laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
The town clerk shall serve as the clerk of the town meeting. In the event of unavoidable absence, the town clerk shall designate a substitute; otherwise, the moderator shall appoint a clerk pro tempore. The town clerk shall give notice of all meetings to the public, keep a journal of its proceedings and perform such other functions as may be provided by the laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, by the charter, by by-law or by other town meeting vote.
The Board of Selectmen shall at all times receive all petitions which are addressed to it and which request the insertion of subjects in a warrant for a town meeting and are filed by: (1) any individual elected town officer; (2) any appointed multiple member body, acting by a majority of its members; (3) any ten voters for a regular town meeting and any one hundred voters for a special town meeting; (4) any other person or entity who may be authorized by law. The original copy of each petition filed hereunder shall be retained by the Board of Selectmen until at least ninety days following the completion of the town meeting at which the said petition is acted upon.
[Amended 1-4-2013 by Chapter 407, Acts of 2012]
Every town meeting shall be called by a warrant issued by the Board of Selectmen which shall state the date, time and place at which the meeting is to be convened and, by separate articles, the subject matter to be acted upon. Notice of an annual or special town meeting shall be provided in the manner prescribed by the General Laws and town by-laws.
The original copies of all warrants for town meeting shall be kept in the office of the town clerk in a record book maintained for that purpose.
Every town officer, or in the case of a multiple member body, a designated representative of such multiple member body, and every town department head shall attend all sessions of the annual town meeting and any and all special town meetings for the purpose of providing the town meeting with information pertinent to matters appearing on the warrant, unless deterred for reasonable cause as determined by the Town Manager. If any person described above is so deterred, he/she shall designate a designee to attend the town meeting in his/her place, and shall notify the Town Manager of such designee.
If any person required to attend the sessions of the town meeting under this section is not a voter, he/she shall, notwithstanding, be entitled to speak in order to provide the town meeting with information on pertinent warrant articles.