Town Meeting Information
Open Town Meeting
Medfield has an Open Town Meeting. This means every registered voter may be present, take part and vote in the legislative arm of the town government. No Town Meeting is Medfield may act on the articles of the Warrant unless there is a quorum of 250 voters. Registered voters must be present to vote; there is no absentee or early voting for annual or special town meetings.
The Moderator is elected annually to preside over Town Meeting. He/She appoints a Deputy Town Moderator to serve as needed. The Moderator’s appointments also include members of the Warrant Committee and members of the School Planning and Building Committee. A three-member appointing authority, of which the Moderator is one, names members of the Personnel Board.
Functions of the Town Meeting
As the legislative body of town government, the Medfield Town Meeting authorizes funds for the operating budgets of all town departments and approves borrowing of money and issuing of bonds. Town Meeting establishes policy and procedures of town administration; it adopts, amends, and repeals town bylaws and zoning laws.
Town Meeting is called by issuing a document called a Warrant. The Warrant, drawn by the Selectmen, states the time and place of Town Meeting and the agenda and business to be considered. Action may not be taken on any matter at Town Meeting unless it is within the scope of an article in the Warrant.
Any registered voter may include an article in the Warrant by filing with the Selectmen a request signed by ten registered voters. The date for closing the Warrant and the date of the Town Meeting are announced by the Selectmen. This announcement appears in the local newspaper and is sent by letter to town boards and departments.
Annual Town Meeting
Massachusetts law requires that a town meeting be held at least once a year; this is known as the Annual Town Meeting. In Medfield the Annual Town Meeting for the transaction of business takes place on the first Monday in May at 7:00 p.m. at the Amos Clark Kingsbury High School. After the first session, further meetings are held until all articles in the Warrant have been acted upon. The Warrant consists of articles submitted by Town Departments, Selectmen and citizen petition, listed randomly and acted on by a lottery system to ensure a fair representation of voters.
Special Town Meeting
In addition to the Annual Town Meeting, Special Town Meetings may be called by the Selectmen in response to a petition signed by 200 voters, or at any time the Selectmen deem necessary. One hundred signatures are necessary to include an article in the Warrant of a Special Town Meeting.