Town of Deerfield, MA
Franklin County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted as Article I of the 7-10-1964 Compilation of Bylaws. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Amended 3-5-1974 STM, Art. 4; 3-5-1979 ATM, Art. 32; 4-12-1980 ATM, Art. 34; 10-26-1983 STM, Art. 13; 3-31-1986 ATM, Art. 44]
The Annual Town Meeting shall be held on the last Monday of April in each year. The Meeting will be at 7:00 p.m. for the consideration of all lawful business and Town affairs that may properly come before the Meeting. The Meeting will then adjourn to the first Monday in May at 10:00 a.m. with the polls to close at 8:00 p.m. for the election of such officers and the determination of such matters as by law are required to be elected or determined by ballot.
[Amended 4-26-2004 ATM, Art. 29]
Every warrant for every Town Meeting, whether annual, special or otherwise, shall be served by posting attested copies thereof in five (5) public places in the Town; and in the case of any special or other meetings, except the Annual Meeting, by printing a summary copy in one (1) newspaper published in Franklin County. Said posting shall be at least fourteen (14) days and said publication at least fourteen (14) days before the time set for holding said meeting; provided, however, that such publication in a newspaper shall not apply to primaries, caucuses or to state elections.
The warrant for the Annual Town Meeting shall close at least thirty (30) days before the time of holding said meeting.
All persons present at any Town Meeting shall, while the Meeting is open, be seated when requested by the Moderator.
No one shall speak on the same question more than twice, without leave of the Meeting, or to explain or call to order.
When anyone addresses the Moderator, he shall rise and stand during his speaking.
An appeal to the Meeting shall lie from the decision of the Moderator on a question of order upon the demand of ten (10) voters present. The question on appeal shall be submitted before any other. Debate shall be limited to three (3) minutes on each side, but the Moderator may make such statements as to the reasons for his ruling as he deems proper.
When several amendments are made to a motion in regard to the same subject, relating to sums of money, numbers or time, the question shall be first put upon the largest sum or number or the longest time.
In all cases, no new motions shall be made while one is pending, except to amend or substitute, commit or recommit, lay upon the table or postpone to a time certain, close debate at a specified time, or the previous question or to adjourn.
No one shall interrupt another while he is speaking, except to call him to order.
Every person making a motion in Town Meeting, shall reduce it to writing when required by the Moderator.
The previous question shall be put in the following form: "Shall the main question be now put?", and until this question is decided, all debate on the main question shall be suspended, except as provided in § 48-13. Immediately after taking and adopting the previous question, the sense of the Meeting shall be taken upon any pending amendments, in the order inverse to that in which they were moved and finally upon the main question.
When a debate is closed by ordering the previous question, or by a vote to close debate at a specified time, the person who shall have introduced the matter under consideration shall be allowed to speak seven (7) minutes, and may grant to any other person any portion of his time.
Any person proposing to move, at the Meeting at which the vote was passed, for the reconsideration of a vote, shall give notice of his intention in open Town Meeting, and shall announce the time when he will make said motion, which shall not be within less than one (1) hour after which notice is given.
A second motion for the reconsideration of the same vote shall not be received.
Any one (1) of the foregoing sections, except § 48-1, may be suspended, by a vote of two-thirds (2/3) of the voters present, at any legal Town Meeting, for a length of time to be specified in the motion made for that purpose not exceeding the continuance of the meeting at which such vote may be passed.
[Amended 4-12-1980 ATM, Art. 35]
The duties of the Moderator and the government of the Town Meeting not specially provided for by law or by the foregoing rules shall be determined by the rules of practice in "Town Meeting Time, A Handbook of Parlementary Procedure," copyright 1962.
[Added 3-5-1979 ATM, Art. 33]
No Special Town Meeting may transact any business until the Moderator determines that a quorum is present of thirty-five (35) persons eligible to vote at the meeting. Such quorum should be maintained if a motion is made to challange the quorum and supported by five (5) voters, the moderator must count to establish the quorum. Section 48-16 shall not apply to this section.
[Added 4-28-2003 ATM, Art. 9]
On matters requiring a two-thirds vote by statute a count need not be taken unless the vote so declared is immediately questioned by seven or more voters as provided in MGL c. 39, § 15.