Town meeting

open town meetingtown meetingsTown Meeting Moderatortown moderatorTown Meeting DaymeetingOpen town meeting formatRepresentative Town Meetingtown governmenttown halls
A town meeting is a form of direct democratic rule, used primarily in portions of the United States – principally in New England – since the 17th century, in which most or all the members of a community come together to legislate policy and budgets for local government.wikipedia
580 Related Articles

New England town

towntownsNew England
Typically conducted by New England towns, town meeting can also refer to meetings of other governmental bodies, such as school districts or water districts.
New England towns are often governed by a town meeting legislative body.

Town hall meeting

town halltown hall meetingstownhall meeting
This is a town- or city-level meeting where decisions are made, in contrast with town hall meetings held by state and national politicians to answer questions from their constituents, which have no decision-making power.
In contrast to town meetings, a type of direct democratic rule that originated in colonial New England, attendees do not vote on issues during town hall meetings.

Direct democracy

direct democraticdirect legislationdirect
A town meeting is a form of direct democratic rule, used primarily in portions of the United States – principally in New England – since the 17th century, in which most or all the members of a community come together to legislate policy and budgets for local government.
In the New England region of the United States, towns in areas such as Vermont decide local affairs through the direct democratic process of the town meeting.

New England

southern New EnglandNew EnglanderNew England region
A town meeting is a form of direct democratic rule, used primarily in portions of the United States – principally in New England – since the 17th century, in which most or all the members of a community come together to legislate policy and budgets for local government. Town meeting is a form of local government practiced in the U.S. region of New England since colonial times, and in some western states since at least the late 19th century.
New England town meetings were derived from meetings held by church elders, and are still an integral part of government in many New England towns.

Freedom of Speech (painting)

Freedom of SpeechFreedom of Speech'' (painting)
The painting Freedom of Speech depicts a scene from a town meeting.
Freedom of Speech depicts a scene of a local town meeting in which Jim Edgerton, the lone dissenter to the town selectmen's announced plans to build a new school, was accorded the floor as a matter of protocol.

Representative town meeting

Town Meetingelected Town Meeting memberNew England town meeting system
Massachusetts towns with 6,000 or more residents may optionally adopt a representative town meeting form of government. State law ( RSA 49-D:3 (paragraph III)) gives the alternative of a representative town meeting, similar to that of a town council, in which voters elect a small number of residents to act as the legislative body in their stead.
Representative town meetings function largely the same as open town meetings, except that not all registered voters can participate or vote.

Moderator (town official)

moderatortown meeting moderator
The Moderator officiates the meeting by reading each article, explaining it, and making sure the rules of parliamentary procedure are followed, interprets voice votes and counts other votes.
A moderator is an official of an incorporated town who presides over the town meeting, and in some cases, other municipal meetings.

Board of Finance (New England)

Board of FinanceFinance CommitteeFinance and Warrant Committee
The Finance Committee or Ways and Means Committee makes recommendations on articles dealing with money, and often drafts the proposed budget.
The Board of Finance is one of a variety of names (Budget Committee, Finance Committee, Ways and Means Committee, Appropriations Committee, Advisory Committee, or Warrant Committee are used in different parts of New England) for a body that reviews local government budgets in towns or school districts that have the town meeting form of government.

Warrant (town meeting)

warrant
The Board of Selectmen summons the town meeting into existence by issuing the warrant, which is the list of items—known as articles—to be voted on, with descriptions of each article.
In New England, a warrant is a document issued by the Board of Selectmen to call a town meeting.

Board of selectmen

selectmanSelectman-town meetingselectmen
The Board of Selectmen summons the town meeting into existence by issuing the warrant, which is the list of items—known as articles—to be voted on, with descriptions of each article. The executive agency of town government is an elected, part-time board, known as the Board of Selectmen or Select Board, having three, five, or seven members.
In most New England towns, the adult voting population gathered annually in a town meeting to act as the local legislature, approving budgets and laws.

Freetown, Massachusetts

Freetown
In 2003, the Massachusetts communities of Freetown and Lakeville held their annual town meetings and voted on the budget for the Freetown-Lakeville Regional School District as part of those meetings.
Freetown is governed in the traditional New England style with a Board of Selectmen overseeing day-to-day operations of the town and at least one town meeting per year to handle all major decisions including, but not limited to, budgets, by-laws, and zoning.

Massachusetts

MACommonwealth of MassachusettsMass.
In Maine, the town meeting system originated during the period when Maine was a district of Massachusetts.
Eleven communities which call themselves "towns" are, by law, cities since they have traded the town meeting form of government for a mayor-council or manager-council form.

New Hampshire

NHState of New HampshireNew Hampshire, U.S.
In New Hampshire, towns, village districts (which can deal with various government activities but usually concern public water supplies) and school districts have the option of choosing one of two types of annual meeting: Traditional meetings, and ballot-vote meetings that are known informally as "SB 2" or "Senate Bill 2". A variation of SB 2 and representative town meeting are also allowed under state law but as of 2015 are not in use by any community.
Most towns generally operate on the town meeting form of government, where the registered voters in the town act as the town legislature, and a board of selectmen acts as the executive of the town.

Town council

village councilcounciltown councillor
State law ( RSA 49-D:3 (paragraph III)) gives the alternative of a representative town meeting, similar to that of a town council, in which voters elect a small number of residents to act as the legislative body in their stead.
The legislative body of a legal town in Massachusetts is a town meeting; the executive board is a board of selectmen.

Municipalities of Switzerland

municipalitymunicipalitiesvillage
Town meetings are the usual legislative body of the smaller municipalities of Switzerland, that is of approximately 90% of all Swiss municipalities.
Legislative authority is exercised by a town meeting of all citizens, or by a municipal parliament, depending on the size of the municipality, and on cantonal and municipal law.

Iurreta

The system was revived in the municipality of Iurreta, Biscay in 1990.
The traditional anteiglesia or town meeting system of local government was revived.

United States

American🇺🇸U.S.
A town meeting is a form of direct democratic rule, used primarily in portions of the United States – principally in New England – since the 17th century, in which most or all the members of a community come together to legislate policy and budgets for local government.

Local government

local authoritylocal authoritiesLeadership
Town meeting is a form of local government practiced in the U.S. region of New England since colonial times, and in some western states since at least the late 19th century.

School district

public school districtdistrictschool districts
Typically conducted by New England towns, town meeting can also refer to meetings of other governmental bodies, such as school districts or water districts. In New Hampshire, towns, village districts (which can deal with various government activities but usually concern public water supplies) and school districts have the option of choosing one of two types of annual meeting: Traditional meetings, and ballot-vote meetings that are known informally as "SB 2" or "Senate Bill 2". A variation of SB 2 and representative town meeting are also allowed under state law but as of 2015 are not in use by any community.

Legislature

legislativelegislative branchlegislative power
While the uses and laws vary from state to state, the general form is for residents of the town or school district to gather once a year and act as a legislative body, voting on operating budgets, laws, and other matters for the community's operation over the following 12 months.

Henry David Thoreau

ThoreauHenry Thoreau(Henry David) Thoreau
In 1854, Henry David Thoreau said, in a speech entitled "Slavery in Massachusetts":

Puritans

puritanpuritanismpuritanical
The Puritans, whose churches used the Congregationalist church governance sysytem, established town meetings when they established the various New England colonies.

Congregationalist polity

CongregationalistcongregationalCongregationalism
The Puritans, whose churches used the Congregationalist church governance sysytem, established town meetings when they established the various New England colonies.

Connecticut

CTState of ConnecticutConn.
Connecticut town meetings are bound to a published agenda.

Voter registration

apply for votingregistered votersregistered
In towns with an Open Town Meeting, all registered voters of a town, and all persons owning at least $1,000 of taxable property, are eligible to participate in and vote at Town Meetings, with the exception of the election of officials.