Milton’s Town Meeting has two hundred and seventy-nine members. Approximately twenty-five representatives are elected in each of ten precincts for three-year terms; and the precincts elect one-third of their representatives each year.
Town Meeting is the legislative body of the Town.
In keeping with the Town’s By-Laws, the Annual Town Meeting begins on the first Monday in May. It may run many evenings, but on average it completes in three. From time to time, Special Town Meetings may be called by the Selectmen or 200 registered voters to take care of any unforeseen issues that occur between Annual Town Meetings
The Annual Town Meeting’s general purpose is to establish an annual operating budget and to consider amendments or revisions to town bylaws or policies (including the management of finances).
The business of Town Meeting is governed by a document called the Warrant. The Warrant is a notice containing the time, place and agenda for the Town Meeting. Each item of town business to be discussed is presented in the Warrant as a separate and distinct Article. The Warrant is distributed to every household in town four days before the Town Meeting.
The Select Board prepares the Town Meeting Warrant, with Articles to be considered. Individual voters, property owners, town agencies, and the Select Board may submit Warrant Articles. A written explanation or justification accompanies each article. The Warrant Committee recommends for or against Articles, giving reasons for its recommendations.
A Town Meeting is called to order when a quorum exists. A quorum consists of a majority of the elected membership. Although most articles require a simple majority for passage, by-laws, zoning changes, bond issues and certain other measures require a two-thirds vote.
An elected Moderator conducts the Town Meeting. The Moderator maintains order while methodically moving through the Articles of the Warrant. The Town Clerk keeps the record of the meeting, and the town counsel is present to provide legal guidance.
Any citizen may observe Town Meeting (which is also broadcast by Milton Community television), however, any town resident that is not an elected town meeting member may only speak to the meeting with the prior consent of the Moderator.