Legislative authority of the Town shall be vested in the Town Meeting open to all registered voters.
The Annual Town Meeting shall be held on the first Monday in May.
Editor’s Note: This article also provided the transitional provision that this Charter amendment will become effective beginning with the 2020 Annual Town Meeting.
Special Town Meetings may be called at the discretion of the Board of Selectmen, by a petition signed by 200 registered voters of the Town, or as may otherwise be provided in the Massachusetts General Laws.
The Moderator shall be elected at the regular annual election for a term of one year and he shall preside over the Annual and Special Town Meetings. Within 20 days following his or her election, the Moderator shall appoint a Deputy Moderator to serve as Moderator in the event the Moderator is absent from any Town Meeting. The Moderator shall also make appointments as required of him or her by Bylaw or action of Town Meeting. The Deputy Moderator shall in no event exercise any of the appointive powers granted to the Moderator. The term of the Deputy Moderator shall end at the same time as that of the Moderator. The Moderator and Deputy Moderator shall receive no compensation for their services.
The Board of Selectmen shall prepare the warrant for the Annual Town Meeting and shall each year establish the date at which it is closed for the submission of Articles. However, in no event shall the warrant for each Annual Town Meeting remain open for submission of Articles beyond March 15.
Articles for either the Annual or any Special Town Meeting may be submitted in writing by:
Notice of all Town Meetings shall be established by posting a copy of the warrant in not less than five public places in the Town. This shall be accomplished at least seven days before the Annual Town Meeting and at least 14 days before any Special Town Meeting.
The number of registered voters necessary to constitute a quorum shall be established from time to time as a Bylaw voted by Town Meeting. The Town Meeting may be adjourned by a number of registered voters less than a quorum.
A warrant report for the Annual Town Meeting shall be assembled and printed by the Board of Selectmen and placed in distribution to the households of the Town not less than one week prior to the Town Meeting. The warrant report shall contain for each Article an explanation of the Article by its petitioner, and a recommendation by the Warrant Committee. The recommendation of the Warrant Committee shall be based on financial and non-financial considerations. If three or more Committee members vote against a recommendation. a minority report shall be appended to the recommendation. If fewer than three members of the Warrant Committee vote against a recommendation of the full Committee, a minority report may be appended upon request of the dissenting members. The Board of Selectmen shall prepare a brief overview of the general government budget Article, commenting upon significant trends and departures from the budget of previous years and containing such remarks as they deem appropriate.
A warrant report shall be prepared in a like manner by the Board of Selectmen for each Special Town Meeting and may be placed in distribution to the households of the Town at any time before the Special Town Meeting. However, if in the judgment of the Selectmen the printing and distribution of a warrant report would unduly delay the Special Town Meeting and cause injury to the Town, the Selectmen may, in place of a printed warrant report, request the petitioner for each Article and the Warrant Committee to report only verbally on each Article on the floor of the Town Meeting.
A Warrant Committee of nine members shall be appointed by the Moderator. It shall recommend the Annual Town Budget for vote by the Town Meeting and fulfill all the duties of a finance committee as required by general law. It shall hold a public hearing not less than 30 days prior to the Annual Town Meeting to inform the residents of the Town of its proposed recommendations and to hear testimony and argument before publication of its final recommendations. This hearing shall be attended by all elected and appointed Town officers, unless they are deterred by illness or other reasonable cause.
All elected and appointed Town officers shall attend Town Meetings unless deterred by illness or other reasonable causes.
Any 10 voters of the Town may secure, by written petition to the Board of Selectmen, the inclusion of an Article for the warrant of any duly scheduled Annual Town Meeting, and at least 100 registered voters may secure the same for any Special Town Meeting. Articles may also be included for the warrant of Annual and Special Town Meetings as may otherwise be provided in the Massachusetts General Laws.
A vote of Town Meeting shall be subject to only one motion for reconsideration and such motion shall require a two-thirds vote. Action on a motion for reconsideration shall be postponed until the next session unless the current session has been declared to be the last. No motion for rescission will be in order.