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After the articles have been placed on the Warrant, the articles go through a series of committee and department reviews and hearings. Different boards and committees are responsible for a report at Town Meeting of their findings depending on whose jurisdiction the article will fall under.
For instance, all money articles are reviewed by the Finance Committee at hearings that take place after the closing of the Warrant. A report on their findings are given at Town Meeting when the article is addressed. Residents are welcome to attend these hearings to explain their article to the committee. More discussion will be generated on the floor of Town Meeting before any action is taken by the Town Meeting members.
To place an article on an upcoming Special Town Meeting Warrant, the signatures of one hundred (100) registered voters of the Town are required, but otherwise follows the procedures above.
Voters may petition the Selectmen to call a Special Town Meeting and to insert in the Warrant all subjects specified in the petition. This requires the signatures of two hundred (200) registered voters of the Town, but otherwise follows the procedures above.
Those not registered to vote may attend the meeting but may not vote. They must sign in with an election official before entering the meeting. The Moderator will take a vote of the meeting to allow non registered voters to enter the hall. All non registered voters who are not Town Officials will sit in a special section of the Hall so as not to interfere with the voting process.
Types of Motions: • Budget questions - Questions on the budget are encouraged. A voter may address the Moderator on any line item in the finance committee report. Amendments can be offered and will be voted on individually.• Declaring the Vote - The Moderator may decide the sense of the meeting by a voice vote. If in doubt, or, if the decision is questioned, a standing vote may be called for. Depending on the subject matter, a motion may only require a simple majority to pass, or it may require a 2/3 or even greater vote to pass.• Privileged Motions - A speaker may be interrupted only for a point of order, a question of the legality of a motion, or a question to clarify information.• Reconsideration - Reconsideration is rarely used and only to correct an oversight or an illegality• Visual Displays - Voters who wish to show slides or present other visual material should make arrangements before the meeting. Contact the Town Clerk's Office for additional information.• Adjourn / Dissolve - A meeting may adjourn to a later time and a different place, but when a meeting is dissolved it is finished. A meeting may not be dissolved until every article in the Warrant has been acted upon.• Pro/Con Microphones - The Moderator will sometimes call for the use of Pro/Con Microphones to help organize the debate on controversial articles.• Time Limits - A motion could be made at the opening of Town Meeting to limit the time for presentations to five (5) minutes and speakers to the article three (3) minutes (or any combination thereof). A motion for time limits is usually made to cover the entire duration of the meeting. It is generally a good idea to use this as a guide for any presentations to Town Meeting members.