Town of Falmouth, MA
Barnstable County
By using eCode360 you agree to be legally bound by the Terms of Use. If you do not agree to the Terms of Use, please do not use eCode360.
Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town of Falmouth Annual Town Meeting 2-11-1925, Art. 92; amended STM 8-25-1932, Art. 17; STM 10-18-1939, Art. 7; ATM 2-12-1946, Art. 48; ATM 2-13-1948, Art. 28; ATM 2-11-1955, Arts. 111, 112 and 113; STM 10-2-1956, Arts. 13, 25, 26 and 27; ATM 2-20-1958, Art. 114; STM 7-10-1958, Art. 25. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Representative Town Meeting — See Charter, Art. II, and Ch. A320, Special Acts.
Elections — See Ch. 35.

§ 49-1 Annual Town Meetings. [1]

[Amended STM 2-20-1959, Art. 109; STM 1-10-1974, Art. 23; STM 11-1-1988, Art. 66; ASTM 4-7-1992, Art. 51; ASTM 4-7-1993, Art. 40, approved 7-16-1993]
The Annual Town Meeting shall be after the first day of April on a date chosen by the Board of Selectmen, and an Annual Fall Town Meeting shall be each year after the first day of September on a date chosen by the Board of Selectmen. The Selectmen shall inform Town Meeting members of the date of the annual Town meeting before the preceding Town meeting adjournment.
[1]
Editor's Note: The original legislation pertaining to Town Meetings was the Representative Town Meeting Act (Chapter 349 of the Acts of 1935), referred to in Ch. A320, Special Acts. See also the Falmouth Home Rule Charter, Art. II, for provisions concerning the Representative Town Meeting form of government.

§ 49-2 Notice.

[Amended STM 5-26-1965, Art. 15; ASTM 4-6-1992, Art. 52]
Notice of every Town Meeting shall be given by posting a copy of the warrant therefor in the Town office building and a public place in each precinct, and the Town Clerk shall mail copies of the notice, citing the date, place and time of the meeting, to all Town Meeting members, at least 10 days before the date of each meeting. The Town Clerk shall further publish a copy of the warrant in a newspaper circulating throughout the Town 14 days before the Annual Town Meeting, the Annual Fall Town Meeting and any Special Town Meeting. Such further notice may be given in any manner the Selectmen deem proper.

§ 49-3 Closing of warrant.

Not less than seven days' notice shall be given before closing the warrant for an Annual Town Meeting, nor less than 24 hours' notice given before closing the warrant for a Special Town Meeting.

§ 49-4 Road and sidewalk repair and layout requests.

[Amended ATM 2-20-1959, Art. 108; ATM 4-2-1984, Art. 28]
The Selectmen shall cause to be published in the local newspaper each year in late August and again in early September a notice that all requests for road layouts and all petitions for appropriations for construction or repair of roads and sidewalks to be considered at the next Annual Town Meeting shall be filed with the Selectmen not later than November 1, in order that the Selectmen, Planning Board and Finance Committee may have sufficient time for study of each request, and so that the Department of Public Works[1] may prepare properly engineered cost estimates.
[1]
Editor's Note: The Board of Selectmen now performs the duties formerly performed by the Department of Public Works.

§ 49-5 Consideration and grouping of articles.

The articles shall be considered in the order in which they appear in the warrant. Articles referred from previous Town Meetings shall take an early place in the warrant. Other articles shall be grouped together in accordance with the respective Town Departments or Committees under whose direction the action called for in such articles is proposed to be executed.

§ 49-6 Placement of certain articles in warrant.

All articles requiring more than a majority vote for favorable action shall be placed in the warrant next following the articles referred from previous Town Meetings.

§ 49-7 Seating arrangements.

[Amended ASTM 4-6-1992, Art. 53]
The stage and that portion of the auditorium forward of a row to be designated by the Moderator and to be kept vacant shall be reserved for the use of the duly qualified Representative Town Meeting members and for designated officers and aides of the Meeting. All other persons shall use seats behind the vacant row or in the gallery. The Moderator may designate seating arrangements on the stage and in the auditorium for Town Meeting participants.

§ 49-8 Hand votes.

[Amended STM 4-13-2004, Art. 7]
If seven or more Town Meeting members rise and question a "yea and nay" vote, without further discussion, a standing vote shall be taken.

§ 49-8.1 Voice vote.

[Added ASTM 4-2-2001, Art. 21, approved 10-31-2001]
The Moderator may determine the intent of the voice vote where a two-thirds affirmative majority vote is required for passage of an article on the warrant of a Town Meeting, provided, however, that any member may question the Moderator's determination by standing and asking for a counted vote, whereupon a standing vote will commence and be counted.

§ 49-8.2 Electronic voting.

[Added AFTM 11-14-2016, Art. 12]
Notwithstanding the provisions of the foregoing section, § 49-8.1, Voice vote, subject to the availability of an approved electronic vote counting and recording system for use by Town Meeting members, the Moderator may determine that a vote be taken by use of such electronic vote counting and recording system.

§ 49-9 Time limits.

No evening session of a Town Meeting shall continue after 11:00 p.m. except upon the affirmative vote of two-thirds (2/3) of Town Meeting members then present, and in no event shall consideration of a new article be begun after 12:00 midnight.

§ 49-10 Certain motions to be in writing.

Long or complicated motions, and other motions which he shall so request, shall be presented to the Moderator in writing.

§ 49-11 Votes involving expenditure of money.

No vote involving the expenditure of any sum of money shall be reconsidered at the same meeting at which it was passed, unless public notice of the intention to move such reconsideration be given within 30 minutes of the passage of such vote and also the time when the notice of reconsideration is given.

§ 49-12 Vote establishing committee budget required.

[Amended ASTM 4-6-1992, Art. 54]
At any Town Meeting when special committees are appointed or elected, a vote shall be passed establishing a budget for the committee, if required; otherwise the Selectmen shall not draw orders on the Treasurer for the committee's expenses.