What Does Town Meeting Do?
Town Meeting is a form of local government that dates back to colonial times. Typically practiced in New England towns, Town Meetings, acting as a legislative body, gather annually and on Special Town Meeting dates to vote on three major items:
• Salaries for elected officials.
• Money needed to run the town.
• Town’s local statutes, which are called by-laws.
What Is the Warrant?
The Board of Selectmen summons the beginning of the Town Meeting by issuing the warrant, which is the list of articles that will be voted on. Each article is accompanied by a description explaining what the article is.
What Happens at a Town Meeting?
The Moderator presides over the meeting, reads the articles, explains them, and counts each vote. The Finance Committee, having previously reviewed each article, makes recommendations to the Meeting Members on articles dealing with money. The Town Clerk records the results of the meeting, and the Town Counsel ensures that all proceedings are lawful.
Is Town Meeting the Same in Every Town?
There are two forms of Town Meeting government, Open and Representative. Open Town Meetings are generally conducted in towns with fewer than 6,000 residents. ALL registered voters can attend and vote on any of the articles presented.
Representative Town Meeting Members are elected by the townspeople. These elected members vote for residents within specific precincts. The number of Town Meeting Members varies by town based on population.
Milford has a representative form of Town Meeting. With a population of approximately 28,000, Milford is divided into 8 precincts. Each precinct has 30 Town Meeting Members who are elected to serve a 3-year term. The terms of these elected seats are staggered so that each spring, 10 members from each precinct must run for re-election to a new 3-year term. Milford also has “At Large” members who serve. These members are town employees and elected town officials such as Selectmen, our State Representative, and our State Senator.
Do You Know Who Your Town Meeting Members Are?
To download the most up-to-date list of Town Meeting members organized by precinct, visit the Town Meeting page on the Milford Town website. Don’t know which precinct you are in? Check out the list of precincts by street or the precinct map in the list of “Supporting Documents” below.
Town Meeting members represent the citizens in their precinct. Even if you are not a Town Meeting member, you have a voice. Take the time to share your opinions with your Town Meeting members!
A Guide to Representative Town Meeting
(This reference document explains how to become a Town Meeting member, how motions are made, and other basic information.)
Massachusetts Guide to Town Meetings
(This document tells you everything you ever wanted to know about Town Meeting and how it works as a local form of government in Massachusetts towns.)
Town Meeting Page on MilfordMA.gov
(This page on the town website provides the most recent list of Town Meeting members, their contact information, minutes from Town Meeting, and Town Meeting videos.)