[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Meeting of the Town of Swansea as Ch. 2, Art. IV, of the 1988 Revised General Bylaws. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The annual financial town meeting shall be held on the third Monday in May at 7:30 p.m.
Every town meeting shall be called by a warrant directed to a constable, or other duly appointed person, by posting attested copies of such warrant in not less than six public places in the Town at least seven days before the day fixed for the annual town meeting and 14 days before the day fixed for a special town meeting.
Every article intended for insertion in the warrant for the annual or special financial town meeting must be presented in writing to the selectmen in accordance with the law, not less than 90 days before the annual meeting and not less than three weeks before any special town meeting. At the same time a copy of each such article shall be filed with the clerk of the finance and advisory committee.
The constable or other person duly appointed to serve the warrant for a town meeting shall within 24 hours after making the service deliver to the town clerk the original warrant with his return endorsed thereon stating fully the manner in which he served the same.
Each annual or special financial town meeting shall be called to order by the moderator promptly at the appointed hour, or as soon thereafter as 75 registered voters are proven to be present. In the absence of the moderator such meeting shall be called to order by the town clerk who shall preside until a temporary moderator is chosen to act during the absence of the moderator.
Immediately after calling of the meeting to order by the moderator, the warrant for the town meeting and the return of the person who served the same shall be read by the town clerk unless the reading of the articles in the warrant is waived by a vote.
All questions may be debated. Motions to adjourn may be amended by specifying a particular day or time. Debate shall be allowed on such motion which shall be limited to not more than 10 minutes for each side.
Any voter may appeal from the decision of the moderator when properly seconded by seven or more voters. No other business except a motion to adjourn or lay on the table shall be in order until the question of appeal has been decided. The question shall be decided without debate and by a show of hands. The question shall be put as follows: "Shall the decision of the moderator stand as judgment of the meeting?" The question shall be decided by a majority vote.
Unless otherwise provided, all motions shall require only a majority vote. Every article in the warrant shall be taken up in the order in the warrant unless otherwise voted by the meeting. No motion or resolution, the subject matter of which is not set forth in an article in the warrant, shall be entertained except a motion for the purpose of obtaining the sense of the meeting unless such motion or resolution is objected to by seven voters.
Every motion shall be reduced to writing and signed by the person presenting it when requested by the moderator. Before receiving any motion the moderator may require that it be seconded. A motion may be withdrawn by the mover if no objection is made.
No motion carrying an expenditure or appropriation of money, except where such expenditure is required by law, shall be acted upon at any town meeting until a report thereon has been made by the advisory and financial committee.
No vote appropriating or involving the expenditure of money shall be passed at any town meeting other than at the annual meeting, unless there is at least 50 legal voters present and voting in favor of such appropriations or expenditures, nor shall any such vote be reconsidered or rescinded upon any day other than that upon which it was passed unless there shall be at least 50 legal voters present and voting in favor of such reconsideration or rescission.
After any motion, except a motion to lay the question upon the table or to postpone to a time certain or to commit, has been taken upon the subject matter of any article in the warrant and another article has been taken up, such previous article shall be deemed to be closed and no further action shall be taken thereon except after the adoption of a motion to reconsider.
No vote shall be reconsidered except upon a motion to that effect or upon a notice of such motion given at the same session of the meeting and within one hour after the result of such vote has been declared. Such motion or notice may be made by any voter on the prevailing side when the vote was taken.
When a question is put where a majority vote is required, the sense of the meeting shall be determined by voice vote and the moderator shall first announce the vote as it appears to him by the sound. If the moderator is unable to decide by the sound of the voices, or if his announcement is doubted by seven or more voters rising in their places for that purpose, the moderator shall without debate determine the vote by ordering a show of hands and he may appoint tellers to make and return the count or may order a ballot vote.
In matters which by statute require a two-thirds vote at a Town Meeting, the moderator need not take a count and record the vote unless the vote so declared is immediately questioned by seven or more voters as provided in MGL c. 39, § 15.
[Added 5-17-1999 ATM by Art. 34]
The vote on any motion, provided the meeting so orders, shall be taken by a yes and no ballot with the use of the checklist.
[Amended 10-30-2017 STM by Art. 10]
The procedure and conduct of the annual and special financial town meetings not provided for herein shall be governed by "Robert's Rules of Order, Newly Revised" and "Town Meeting Time - A Handbook of Parliamentary Law" so far as such are applicable and are not inconsistent with the other bylaws of the Town.
No person other than a voter of the Town shall be admitted to any annual or special town meeting except with the permission of the moderator. The moderator shall announce to the meeting the name of those admitted to become a matter of record of the meeting.