[Adopted as Arts. I and II of the 1983 Code]
[Amended 4-12-2016 ATM by Art. 36; 5-22-2018 STM by Art. 5]
The Annual Town Meeting for the consideration of all business, other than the election of Town Officers or other matters to be determined by ballot, shall be held during the week in March designated by the Selectmen as "Town Meeting Week." The meeting shall be held on a Saturday commencing at 1:00 p.m. and recessed not later than 5:00 p.m.
In the event that all articles in the warrant have not been acted on, the meeting shall reconvene at 7:00 p.m. on that Saturday, and recess no later than 11:00 p.m. If all articles are not acted on by that time, adjournment of the session shall be to the following Monday night at 7:00 p.m. and then to each succeeding night at 7:00 p.m. until completion of the warrant.
In the event that all articles in the warrant have not been acted on by the end of the Thursday night session, the meeting shall stand adjourned to a time and date agreeable to the meeting. In the event of a secular or other holiday during the Town Meeting Week, that session shall be adjourned to the next night that shall be agreeable to the meeting by majority vote.
[Amended 4-25-2017 ATM by Art. 36]
Notice of every Town Meeting shall be given by posting attested copies of the warrant on the Town website, at the Town House, the Southborough Library, the Senior Center and the transfer station seven days at least before the time appointed for such meeting.
The Town Clerk shall, as soon as may be after the adjournment of any Town Meeting, post notices of such adjournment in the several places named in the preceding section. Said notice shall state the time to which the Meeting stands adjourned and shall contain a concise statement of the matters remaining to be considered and acted upon.
Whenever an Article is inserted in a warrant upon the request of any person or persons, other than a Town officer, the Selectmen shall cause the name or names of such persons to appear in connection with such Article by adding the following: "Proposed by" and the name or names of such persons. If the number of persons requesting the insertion of an Article in a warrant exceeds 10, the Selectmen may omit all the names of such persons except the name of the first person who has signed the request or petition and, in such case, they shall add after such name "and . . . others," giving the number of the signers. If an Article is inserted at the request of a Town officer or board, the Selectmen shall indicate that such Article was proposed by such officer or board by adding the words "Proposed by" and then stating the official title of such officer or board.
The Board of Selectmen shall, as soon as may be after issuing a warrant for a Town Meeting, transmit a copy thereof to the Secretary of the Advisory Committee.
[Amended 4-25-2017 ATM by Art. 39]
Before any vote which the Moderator or the Town Meeting requires to be counted may be taken on any question which is the subject matter of any Article contained in the warrant for any Town Meeting, the Moderator shall define the bounds of the voting area and each individual section thereof and shall appoint two tellers to count the votes on each side of each section so defined. Such tellers shall be sworn to the faithful and impartial performance of their duties as such tellers. When any matter before a Town Meeting requires a count of votes for any purpose, each group of tellers shall immediately, upon completion of each count of the area assigned to such group, announce the same to the Meeting and, immediately thereafter, to the Moderator.
On Town Meeting matters requiring a two-thirds vote by statute, the Town Moderator may declare the two-thirds vote without taking a count, and said declaration shall take the place of the statutory counted vote; provided that the vote so declared is not immediately questioned by seven or more voters as provided in Chapter 39, Section 15, of the General Laws. If the vote is questioned, the Moderator shall immediately put the question to another vote and take a count which shall then be recorded by the Town Clerk.
The Moderator may select any two or more warrant articles to create one or more groups of so-called "consent" articles. For each such group of "consent" articles, the Moderator shall ask the voters at the Town Meeting, article by article, if any Town Meeting member wishes to "hold" a particular article, and any such "held" article shall be removed from the group of "consent" articles. For the remaining "consent" articles in the group that have not had a request to be "held", the Moderator may ask for a single vote of the Town Meeting for the entire group of the remaining "consent" articles, and such single vote shall have the same effect as an individual vote (to either approve or disapprove) each of the non-"held" "consent" articles in the group.
[Added 4-9-2018 ATM by Art. 35]
Unless otherwise ordered by the Moderator or by vote of the Meeting, no person whose name is not on the list of registered voters shall be admitted to the hall where the meeting is being held. This provision shall be in force by the use of the checklist. The Moderator shall determine the bounds of the hall.
The Moderator, while occupying the Chair, shall not participate in any discussion before the Meeting.
Articles in the warrant shall be acted upon in the order in which they appear in the warrant, unless otherwise ordered by a vote of the Meeting.
All reports, motions and resolutions submitted for the consideration of the Meeting which involve the expenditure of money shall be in writing. Any other report, motion or resolution shall be reduced to writing if the Moderator so directs.
Every person, when about to speak, shall rise, respectfully address the Chair and wait until he is recognized, and, in speaking, he shall refrain from mentioning by name any other person present and shall confine himself to the question under consideration.
[Amended 4-9-1984 ATM by Art. 14]
No person, while speaking, shall be interrupted by another, except for a call for the orders of the day, a question of privilege, a point of order or notice of a motion to reconsider.
No person shall speak more than once on any question to the exclusion of any other person who may desire to speak.
Any person who is employed in behalf of a person having an interest in any matter under consideration at any Town Meeting shall, immediately upon being recognized by the Moderator, state that he is so employed and shall also state the name and address of his or her employer.
All committees shall be appointed by the Moderator, unless the Meeting by vote otherwise directs, and shall report as directed by the Meeting. All such appointments by the Moderator shall be made within 60 days of the adjournment of the Meeting at which it was voted to establish such committee, and all vacancies occuring in any such committees so appointed shall be filled by the Moderator within 60 days of such vacancy. If a committee does not report as directed, or at the succeeding Annual Town Meeting, it shall be deemed discharged, unless the time during which it may report has been extended by vote of the Meeting.
Whenever the report of a committee contains a recommendation for the appropriation of Town funds, the committee making such recommendations shall submit a copy thereof to the Advisory Committee at least six days before the Town Meeting at which said report is to be considered by the Town; and no such recommendation shall be acted upon until a report thereon has been made by the Advisory Committee.
Whenever a report of a committee is placed in the hands of the Moderator, it shall be deemed to have been submitted to the Meeting for its action thereon, except as is provided in § 41-16.
[Amended 4-9-1984 ATM by Art. 18]
Any action taken at any Town Meeting shall be reconsidered only by a 2/3 vote.
No motions, the effect of which would be to dissolve the Meeting, shall be in order until every Article in the warrant has been duly considered and acted upon.
[Amended 4-9-2007 ATM by Art. 34]
The presence of 100 voters at an Annual Town Meeting and 100 voters at a Special Town Meeting for the transaction of business shall constitute a quorum, and no Article shall be acted upon unless a quorum is present.
[Amended 4-13-1987 ATM by Art. 35]
The procedure and conduct of Town Meetings not herein provided for or otherwise regulated by general or special laws of the commonwealth shall be governed by the most recent edition of Town Meeting Time, so far as it is applicable.
[Added 4-9-1984 ATM by Art. 15]
A report or reports shall be given at each Annual Town Meeting of all resolutions, mandates and directives of all Annual and Special Town Meetings of the preceding three years with which there has not been full compliance. Such reports shall be given by the responsible elected official or officials or an appropriate designee or designees.
[Added 4-25-2017 ATM by Art. 35]
Except as may be otherwise provided by any other general or special law of the commonwealth, all candidates or their agents are expressly forbidden to remain within 150 feet of the entrance to a polling place or Town Meeting for the purpose of electioneering or greeting citizens or voters, or for petitioning or soliciting signatures for any purpose.