An occasional column about town activities by Tara Hughes
July 20, 2023. Did you know that the town of Winchester has a representative town meeting form of government? It can also be referred to as a limited town meeting. Town meeting is the legislative branch of municipal government that enacts laws, passes budgets and authorizes spending. In a representative town meeting, members are elected by voters from election districts or precincts. In an open town meeting all registered voters may attend, speak and vote (no absentee voting allowed). The use of town meeting as a form of government is particularly unique to New England.
In Winchester, we have eight precincts and each precinct has 24 elected members, for a total of 192 town meeting members. Town meeting is held twice yearly, in the spring and fall. The town moderator, elected by the voters, presides over the business and conduct of the meeting. Operating procedures and rules are dictated by statute, charter, by-law and/or vote of town meeting and in the absence of such by Roberts’ Rules of Parliamentary Practice. The town clerk reports the actions of each session and takes the official minutes.
A warrant is mailed out to all residents containing the warrant articles to be discussed and voted on at town meeting. Only those articles contained in the warrant will be voted on and only elected members may vote. Residents may attend and may be allowed to speak, but they cannot vote on the articles.
To learn more go to: https://www.winchester.us/241/Town-Meeting
And also check out the video about our town meeting at https://imcotek.wistia.com/medias/g29dw1rn8c . Tara Hughes is the president of Winchester News Group and a precinct 1 town meeting member.