The Town Meeting Warrant is developed by the Board of Selectmen and is generally composed of items, called Articles, brought forth by various Town departments and standing committees for consideration and action by Town Meeting. Individual citizens can add their own agenda items to Town Meeting through the statutory device called a Citizens’ Petition.
Massachusetts General Laws, ch. 39, section 10, provides, in part, as follows:
The selectmen shall insert in the warrant for the annual meeting all subjects the insertion of which shall be requested of them in writing by ten or more registered voters of the town and in the warrant for every special town meeting all subjects the insertion of which shall be requested of them in writing by one hundred registered voters or by ten per cent of the total number of registered voters of the town whichever number is the lesser.
Please note the higher threshold number of signatories required (100 registered voters) for a Special Town Meeting. Potential petitioners for either a Special or Annual Town Meeting should confer with the Town Administrator at the earliest opportunity in order to insure a timely and effective effort. Petition forms should be obtained from and returned to the Town Clerk’s office for certification before the Warrant is closed, which typically occurs in the third week in January.