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Town of Easton, MA
Bristol County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Annual Town Meeting of the Town of Easton 3-6-1922 by Art. 6 as Art. 1 of the 1922 Bylaws. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Records and reports — See Ch. 65.
[Amended 3-4-1957 ATM by Art. 19; 11-26-1973 STM by Art. 1; 5-21-1980 ATM by Art. 36; 6-4-2001 STM by Art. 18]
The Annual Town Meeting shall be held on the third Monday of May each year.
[Added 11-26-1973 STM by Art. 2; amended 5-21-1980 ATM by Art. 37; 10-30-2000 STM by Art. 1]
The Annual Town Election shall be held on the fourth Tuesday in April in each year.
Every Town Meeting shall be called by posting attested copies of the warrant at each meeting house and post office and at the Town Hall at least seven days before said meeting.
Notice of every adjournment of a Town Meeting shall be posted by the Town Clerk in the places designated in § 44-3 as soon as practicable after the adjournment, stating briefly the business to come before such adjourned meeting.
[Amended 3-23-1962 ATM by Art. 19; 3-23-1962 ATM by Art. 20; 5-20-1974 ATM by Art. 60; 9-26-2005 STM, Art. 19]
A. 
At a Special Meeting of the town, not less than 100 registered voters shall constitute a quorum.
B. 
At an annual Town Meeting of the town, not less than 100 registered voters shall constitute a quorum.
[Added 3-23-1962 ATM by Art. 21]
At any Annual or Special Town Meeting when any article is put to the meeting for a vote, if a voter stands to request a secret ballot, he shall be promptly recognized by the Moderator and if on inquiry by the Moderator such voter is joined by at least 29 other standing voters, the Moderator shall automatically order a secret ballot without debate.
[Added 6-18-1963 STM by Art. 3; amended 3-16-1970 ATM by Art. 30]
After any article contained in the warrant of a Special or Annual Town Meeting has been once voted upon by those present and voting at such a meeting, "Reconsideration" of the article may be moved only on the same day that said article has been originally considered and voted upon.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Former § 44-8, Special notice when change of land use is proposed, as added 6-2-1975 ATM by Art. 83, which immediately followed this section, was deleted 5-11-1998 ATM by Art. 50.
[Added 5-11-1976 ATM by Art. 10]
Advancing the order of consideration of articles as set forth in the warrant for any Annual or Special Town Meeting may only be done by a four-fifths vote.
[Added 6-12-1978 ATM by Art. 53; amended 10-2-1989 STM by Art. 2]
Town Meeting shall follow basic rules of parliamentary procedure as set forth below, and such rules shall be printed in each Town Meeting warrant.
A. 
Main motion: debatable. When a motion has been made, seconded and stated by the Chair, the assembly is not at liberty to consider any other main motion until this motion has been disposed of.
B. 
Motions to amend: debatable; majority vote required. This motion is to change, add or omit words in the original main motion.
C. 
Motion to amend the amendment: debatable; majority vote required.
(1) 
This is a motion to change, add or omit words in the first amendment.
(2) 
Method of vote. The first vote is on changing words of second amendment. If the first vote adopts the change, the second vote is on the first amendment as changed or amended. The third vote is on adopting the main motion as changed or amended.
D. 
Motion to commit or refer: debatable; amendable; majority vote required. When a motion becomes involved through amendments or when it is wise to investigate a question more carefully, it may be moved to commit or refer the motion to a committee for further consideration.
E. 
Motion to close debate: not debatable; two-thirds vote required. When debate does not seem to be shedding additional light on a question, you may move to end it by calling the question: "Mr. Moderator, I call the question." You must be recognized by the Chair before making this motion. As soon as this motion is made, debate ceases and a vote on closing debate is taken. If the motion is carried, a vote is immediately taken on the question under consideration.
F. 
Motion to reconsider: debatable; majority vote required. This motion must be made the same day as the original motion was carried or defeated. "A vote can be reconsidered only once."
G. 
Motion to adjourn: debatable; majority vote required. This motion is always in order, except when a speaker has the floor, when a vote is being taken, after it has just been voted down and when the assembly is in the middle of some business which cannot be abruptly stopped. A definite time and place must be set.
H. 
Miscellaneous motions. These motions (or questions) are not necessarily related to the main motion and do not fall within the order of precedence. They may be made as appropriate or necessary.
(1) 
Question of privilege. A motion unrelated to the business taking place, e.g., "Question of privilege, please! It is too noisy. I request that the Chair ask that all talking be stopped."
(2) 
Point of information. A motion used to ask a question or obtain clarification of facts pertaining to the motion at hand: "Point of information, please! What would be the cost to repair this piece of machinery rather than replace it?" There is no vote or debate. The Chair provides the information sought.
(3) 
Point of order. This motion is always in order but can be used only to present an objection to some method of parliamentary procedure: "Mr. Moderator, I rise to a point of order!" Then the objection is stated. There is no vote or debate, and the Chair immediately rules on the point of order.
(4) 
Point of no quorum. This motion requires no second and is not debatable. No other motion may be applied to it. It may not be used to interrupt a speaker. When the point is properly raised, the Moderator must then ascertain whether or not a quorum exists.
[Added 5-17-2004 ATM by Art. 24]
The Moderator may take and declare all votes requiring greater than a majority in the same manner in which he or she conducts the taking of a vote when a majority is required, unless the vote is immediately challenged by seven or more registered voters.