Town of Rochester, MA




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Town Meeting


SECTION XI. GENERAL REGULATIONS
  1. Town Meeting

    1. Quorum
      1. A minimum of 75 registered voters shall be required to conduct an Annual Town Meeting.
      2. Minimum of 50 registered voters shall be required to conduct a Special Town Meeting if any amounts to be appropriated or transferred shall equal or exceed $25,000 or any changes in the Zoning By-laws are being considered.
      3. Minimum of 15 registered voters shall be required to conduct a Special Town Meeting when any amount to be appropriated or transferred is less than $25,000.


    2. Lack of a Quorum
      1. In the event that a quorum cannot be established, the moderator shall call for a recess until a quorum is established, but in no case shall the recess exceed one hour.
      2. In the event that a quorum cannot be established after recessing for one hour, the Moderator (at his/her discretion) shall adjourn the meeting to a later hour, day or may dissolve the meeting. All articles not acted upon shall dissolve and shall not be acted upon except by a new warrant duly issued by the Selectmen.


    3. Orders of Consideration of Articles
      1. All articles in the warrant shall be taken up by the Moderator in the order in which they appear on the warrant. A two-thirds vote shall be required to take any article up for consideration out or order.


    4. Withdrawal of an Article
      1. Articles cannot be withdrawn even by sponsors, action must be taken on article or postponed indefinitely.


    5. Withdrawal of a Motion
      1. A motion may be withdrawn (by the mover) at any time before final action is reached, provided no one objects.
        1. Required no second
        2. Not debatable
      2. Objection to withdrawal is made, leave to withdraw may be granted by a motion to that effected moved by another.
        1. Not debatable
        2. Majority vote


    6. Limit on Debate
      1. Requires a second
      2. Requires a two-thirds vote
      3. Pertains to the time allowed an individual speaker only


    7. Previous Question
      1. The motion to stop debate and vote shall not interrupt a speaker
      2. Requires a second
      3. Not debatable
      4. Requires two-thirds vote


    8. Amendments to Motions
      1. Requires a second
      2. Debatable
      3. Majority vote
      4. Amendments to the third degree not allowed


    9. Reconsideration
      1. Make no later than one hour after final vote except by unanimous consent
      2. Requires a second
      3. Debatable
      4. Requires two-thirds vote


    10. Lay on the Table
      1. To postpone, pass over action until some later time
      2. Requires a second
      3. Not debatable
      4. Majority vote


    11. Take from the Table
      1. To take up action previously voted to lay on the table
      2. Requires a second
      3. Not debatable
      4. Majority vote


    12. Point of Order
      1. A question not a motion
      2. Does not require a second
      3. Not-debatable
      4. Decision by Moderator
        1. Appealable no second, not debatable. Assembly makes final decision


    13. Counting Votes
      1. Two-thirds vote shall mean two-thirds of all votes
      2. Majority vote shall mean more than half of all votes.
      3. The Moderator may vote to make or break a tie at his discretion.
        1. A tie defeats motions


    14. Non-Voters Addressing Meeting
      1. Requires a motion to do so
      2. Requires a second
      3. Debatable
      4. Majority vote (Note: Chapter 234 M.G.L. permits a superintendent of schools to address a Town Meeting with-standing his or her place of residence)




  2. Posting Bulletin Notices
  • Rochester Post Office
  • The Plumb Library
  • Council on Aging
  • Rochester Website
  • Outside Town Hall