Monday, September 17, 2018

Annual and Special Town Meetings

What’s the difference between annual and special meetings?
Each town must hold an annual Town Meeting. Additional Town Meetings are called special meetings. They may be called as many times during the year as necessary.
When are Town Meetings?
Annual Town Meetings, unless otherwise provided by special law or charter, must be held in February, March, April or May. The Board of Selectman may delay the annual meeting, but it must be completed by June 30th.

What does it mean that some towns have two business meetings?
A town may divide its business meeting into two meetings. Towns that do so hold one business meeting at the beginning of the year. The focus is primarily on the budget, finances, and taxes. The second business meeting is held in the fall. It is still part of the annual Town Meeting. The focus is on zoning, planning and by-laws.
In sum....
November: Some towns hold elections.
January, February, March, April, May, June: Some towns that held elections in November and December hold business meetings. Some towns hold both elections and business meetings.
Fall: Some towns hold second business meetings.

To the best of my knowledge, Templeton as a Town has not voted to divide it's annual town meeting into two parts, so any Town Meeting held after the required annual Town Meeting would be a special Town Meeting.  Following the guide from the secretary of state of MA, any Templeton Town Meeting held after the required annual Town Meeting would be a special Town Meeting rather than a fall town meeting; we should not allow our elected people to just start renaming things without our approval, otherwise you end up with things like a change in the budget format being done without our approval, per the DOR. If these things are not challenged and our elected people are allowed to keep making incorrect statements, pretty soon those items become accepted as fact rather than what they are; misinformation statements.

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