Town By-Laws: Article 2

Town Meeting & Notice Thereof
Section 1 - The annual town meeting for the transaction of all business except the election of such officers and the determination of such matters as by law are required to be elected or determined by ballot shall be held on the fourth Monday of April in each year at seven o'clock P.M., except that in the year 1976 said annual town meeting shall be held on the first Monday of May at seven o'clock P.M.

Section 2 - The annual election of such and the determination of such matters as by law are required to be elected or determined by ballot shall be held on the Saturday following the fourth Monday of April in each year. At this and all town elections the polls shall be opened at eight o'clock A.M. and remain open until eight o'clock P.M.

Section 3 - At state elections the polls shall open at seven o'clock A.M. and remain open until eight o'clock P.M.

Section 4 - (a) Except as otherwise required by law, notice of every town meeting shall be given by posting, at least seven days before the day appointed for the meeting, an attested copy of the warrant therefor in the Town Office Building. Compliance with this paragraph (a) as to any meeting shall constitute valid notice thereof.

(b) If the Hingham Journal or any other newspaper is at the time circulated in the town as a local newspaper, the Selectmen shall publish in one such newspaper, at least seven (7) days before the date on which at any meeting there is to be an election of officers, or other action by official ballot, a statement of the time and place at which the polls will be open, and a copy of so much of the warrant as refers to the business then and there to be done, provided that except as otherwise provided by law compliance with the provisions of this paragraph (b) shall not be a requisite of valid notice of any meeting, and noncompliance therewith shall not affect the validity of any meeting or action taken thereat.

Section 5 - (a) At least seven (7) days before the day appointed in the warrant for any annual town meeting, the Selectmen shall cause a copy of the warrant and a copy of the report of the advisory committee thereon to be delivered to each occupied dwelling house, tenement and hotel in the town, by mail or by any method determined by the Selectmen. Provided, however, that if it appears to the Selectmen that for any reason timely distribution of the warrant under this paragraph will not be made, and if the Hingham Journal or any other newspaper is at the time circulated in the town as a local newspaper, they shall publish an attested copy of the entire warrant in one such newspaper at least seven (7) days before the day appointed in the warrant for the meeting.

(b) At least fourteen days before the day appointed in the warrant for any special town meeting, the Selectmen shall cause a copy of the warrant to be delivered to each occupied dwelling house, tenement and hotel in the town, by mail or by any method determined by the Selectmen. Provided, however, that if it appears to the Selectmen that for any reason the timely distribution of the warrant under this paragraph will not be made, and if the Hingham Journal or any other newspaper is at the time circulated in the town as a local newspaper, they shall publish an attested copy of the entire warrant in one such newspaper at least fourteen days before the day appointed in the warrant for the meeting.

(c) As soon practicable after the adjournment of any town meeting, on a vote to adjourn to another day, the Selectmen shall cause a brief statement of the day and hour to which the adjournment was voted and of the business remaining to come before the meeting to be posted in the same place where notice of the town meeting was posted pursuant to Section 4 of this Article, and if the period of adjournment will permit, shall cause a similar notice to be published in some one newspaper, if any, circulated in the town as a local newspaper.

(d) Except as otherwise required by law, compliance with this Section 5 shall not be a requisite of valid notice of any meeting of any action taken thereat.

Section 6 - In connection with each article made a part of the warrant for a town meeting there shall be inserted in the warrant, the name of the town board, department or other town entity proposing the article, and in the case of an article inserted pursuant to a petition to the Selectmen, the name of the first person signing such petition and the words 'and others'.''

Section 7 - The warrant for the annual town meeting shall close on the twentieth day of January, except that the closing date for all zoning articles shall be December first; provided, however, that the Selectmen shall open the warrant within such period for the insertion of additional articles to the extent that compliance with any provision of law shall require, or whenever in their reasonable opinion there remains sufficient time for compliance with the provisions of Sections 4, 5, and 6 of this Article and with the provisions of Article 14. The warrant for a special town meeting shall close on the day determined by the Selectmen who shall cause notice of said date to be posted in the Town Office Building.

Section 8 - (a) Each matter produced for insertion in a warrant for an annual or special town meeting, whether by a Town board or by petition, shall be submitted to the Selectmen in the form of the complete text of the proposed article accompanied by the full name and contact information of a knowledgeable representative of the proponent. In the case of an article submitted by petition, the submission also shall include the required signatures of at least ten registered voters of the Town in the case of an Annual Town Meeting or 100 registered voters of the Town in the case of a Special Town Meeting.

(b) The Selectmen, no later than ten days after any of the following: the January 20th date described in SECTION 7, the closing date of a re-opened warrant described in SECTION 7 or the closing date of the warrant for a special town meeting shall: (i) cause to be posted in a clearly identified position on the Town's website, a complete copy of each submission described in Section 8(a) above; and, (ii) transmit a copy of such submissions to the Advisory Committee; and (iii) make available for viewing or purchase a paper copy of such submissions."

Section 9 - The number of voters necessary to constitute a quorum at town meetings, except such parts of meetings as are devoted exclusively to the election of town officers, shall be three hundred; provided, however, that a number of less than three hundred may from time to time adjourn the same.