INDEPENDENT LEGISLATURE BELONGING TO ITS CITIZENS
- Town Meeting is for the Voters to exercise their rights as they pertain to town spending ("power of the purse") and to ability to make or change laws ("bylaws").
- The rules must be the same and applied equally and uniformly to every participant, every single time, for every single article, and for every single speaker.
- Rules must be clear, simple, and available.
- The laws and bylaws that regulate Town Meeting empower the Moderator to "regulate" the meeting to ensure it runs in accordance with the rules and that no citizens "rights" are abridged. Beyond procedural motions there are basically four such rules - on subject, within time limits, disclosure of interest, and general decorum.
- The Moderator must be impartial on all articles without unfairly biasing any outcome.
- The Moderator is not allowed to limit or otherwise edit or restrict the free speech of any citizen or person making statements or presentations.
- Prior Instructions and guidance given to citizens shall not be changed as a surprise on floor of Town Meeting.
- As Moderator I will ensure citizens retain their rights & freedoms, rules are known & followed, and full discussion is allowed within the broad subject matter.
- Preparation: Precheck equipment; Premark voting sections; Posted rules prior to meeting with flyer at check-in.
"Town Meeting 101: How To Participate" and full "Warrant Preview" presentation including all town & citizen sponsored articles conducted & available prior to annual town meeting.
Preview presentation as a review of the articles and what they mean. Not a prior sales pitch by the proponents!
- Operation: Digital timeclock so all speakers have same time; 5-min Presenter; 3-min All others (including Q&A cycle).
Every article presenter given opportunity to respond in closing.
Every voice heard - broad discretion on topics, speak if in-line, allow residents rights to use standard procedural rules.
Amendments typed on screen and submitted by text. No interruptions.
Visual presentations controlled by neutral third party.
Focus only on warrant articles - no fluff - respect resident's time.
- Eliminate Barriers to Participation: More mobile microphones for in-row seating; Dedicated close-by senior parking;
No voter should ever be disenfranchised or discouraged from participation!!!.