Annual Town Meeting takes place in the spring, and typically lasts for six evenings (typically Monday and Wednesday). Town Meeting is held on the fifth Monday of April, if any, or the first Monday in May (General Bylaws §30-105).
Town Meeting makes all of the decisions about the Town’s budgets and local Bylaws. Belmont’s government is a Representative Town Meeting, which means that only Town Meeting Members can vote at Town Meeting, unlike the Open Town Meeting form of government. That’s why it’s very important that all the Town Meeting seats are filled to have full representation of each Belmont neighborhood.
Upcoming Town Meetings
All Town Meeting Sessions begin at 7pm unless otherwise stated
Town Meetings Dates and Locations
Documents for Completed Sessions of Town Meeting:
Amending Town Meeting Articles
In Belmont, all amendments must be filed in writing on or before 3 business days (excluding weekends and holidays) before the session of Town Meeting at which the article will be taken up. Amendments may be submitted by email, or by paper and must contain the name and contact email of the Town Meeting Member proposing the amemdment.
Belmont Town Meeting Procedures:
Belmont Town Meeting follows the procedures and law in Town Meeting Time: A Handbook of Parliamentary Law by Richard B. Johnson. This book can be obtained by the Massachusetts Moderators' Association, the Belmont Public Library and both retail and online booksellers.
- Moderator letter describing changes to Town Meeting in 2015.
- Belmont Town Meeting Member Handbook (Revised April 2015).
- Belmont Representative Town Meeting Acts of 1926 As Amended.
- Belmont Bylaws specific to Town Meeting (Chapter 30)
- Citizen's Guide to Town Meeting
Electronic Voting at Town Meeting
To view the report for Electronic Voting at Town Meeting, click here.
Town Meeting now uses, in addition to voice voting, an Electronic Voting system utilizing a peripheral called a Response Card. The response cards will be handed out to Town Meeting Members before the start of Town Meeting and they must be returned at the end of the night. Town Meeting members will use the Electronic Voting system at the Moderator's discretion.
Adding Articles to the Town Meeting Warrant:
Articles may be placed on the Annual Town Meeting Warrant by citizen petition or by the Select Board. A citizen petition must be submitted to the Town Clerk by the time and date of warrant close.
- For the Annual Town Meeting, the petition must contain the signatures of at least 10 registered voters as certified by the Town Clerk.
- For a Special Town Meeting that has already been called by the Select Board, the petition must contain the signatures of at least 100 registered voters as certified by the Town Clerk.
- To call a new Special Town Meeting by citizen petition, the petition must contain the signatures of at least 200 registered voters as certified by the Town Clerk.
It is always advisable to submit at least 30% more signatures than the requirement.Petitions must include the name, address and signatures of each voter, each sheet containing the exact language of the petition.
A downloadable Citizens' Petition form is available here.
Amending Articles on the Town Meeting Warrant:
All main motions and proposed amendments involving the expenditure of money must be in writing. All other motions and proposed amendments must also be in writing unless they are so brief and simple as to be easily understood when stated orally.
All substantive amendments and motions to be offered under an article in the Warrant must be submitted to the Town Clerk in writing no later than the close of business on the third (3RD) business day before the commencement of the session at which the Article is considered.
Town Meeting Members should plan to arrive in sufficient time to sign in and take a seat to begin the meeting promptly.