Where Can I Read the Rules and Laws that Govern Town Meeting?

By Moderator Cathy Cordes

Article 3.6 of the By-laws of the Town of Bedford states that “In accordance with Massachusetts General Laws, the Town Moderator shall have complete jurisdiction over any Town Meeting held for the transaction of the Town’s business.  The rules for the meeting that are not provided for by State law are, in order of precedence: Town Charter, These Bylaws, Rules adopted by the Town Meeting, Town Meeting Time, the most recent edition published by the Massachusetts Moderators Association, and Custom of the Bedford Town Meeting.”

Article 4 of the Bedford Bylaws lists Town Meeting Procedure in detail.  These procedures outline in detail motions that can be made and action that can be taken by TM.

These procedures have been included in “A Guide to Open Town Meeting,” written by Betsey Anderson, former Moderator and now Deputy Moderator for Bedford. You can download this excellent guide from the Town Meeting page on the Town of Bedford website https://www.bedfordma.gov/town-meeting

To Read the Bylaws of the Town of Bedford, go to www.bedfordma.gov/files. Under Town Manager, you will find Charter and Bylaws.

To read an even more complete great guide on Bedford that includes Town Meeting information, download “Know Your Town”, published by the Bedford League of Women Voters.  Go to https://www.bedfordma.gov/about-bedford and click on KNOW YOUR TOWN on the top left of the page.

Town Meeting Time: A Handbook of Parliamentary Law is available from the Bedford Public Library or you can order a copy from the Massachusetts Moderators Association. https://massmoderators.org/tmt.html

Editor’s Note: This is Part V of a six-part series of articles to prepare residents, new and experienced alike, for Town Meeting on Monday, November 6.

This is the sixth year of the Bedford Citizen. Our mission is simple: community news for the Bedford Community. Bedford is a great town and we’re lucky to live here.  The Bedford Citizen tries to add to the town’s sense of community by keeping everyone informed about activities going on in and around Bedford.  We trust that you appreciate The Bedford Citizen, and invite you to donate and help sustain our mission. Thank you!

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