Warrant Article Information
What is a warrant?
A warrant announces the town meeting time, place and agenda; it is sent to each registered voter in Winchester.
What are articles?
Articles are the individual agenda items on the warrant. An article describes the issue to be discussed and the scope of the matter that can be discussed and voted on.
Example: Article 7 to see if the Town will vote to appropriate funds for tennis courts to be located on the Winchester Common.
What are motions?
Motions are the specific actions that the proponent wishes to have enacted. The motions are presented to the Town Meeting for approval.
Example: Moved and seconded that the Town Meeting appropriate $25,000 for the construction of three clay tennis courts located on the Winchester Common. (After debate of pros and cons the motion is passed or defeated.)
Who may put an article on the warrant?
Articles may be submitted for insertion in the warrant for any town meeting by (1) any elected town officer or member of an elected multiple-member body; (2) any appointed multiple-member body acting by a majority of its members; (3) any ten or more voters; or (4) any other person or agency as may be authorized by by-laws or otherwise.
How does one draft an article?
The warrant has articles from a prior Town Meeting to assist you in drafting. The Town Clerk, Town Counsel or Select Board can also help you draft an article.
How does one draft a motion?
The Moderator will help you draft a motion after you identify what you wish to be voted on.
Preparation for Town Meeting
Refer to Chapter 2, Section 3.8 of the Town of Winchester Code of By-Laws.
Town of Winchester
Code of By-Laws
Chapter 2, Section 3
3.8 PREPARATION FOR TOWN MEETING
3.8.1 Public Hearings – Public hearings on warrant articles are held for the purpose of informing town meeting members and interested citizens as provided by the charter and other sections of the by-laws.
3.8.2 Warrant Article Requirements:
(1) The proponent of each warrant article shall prepare or cause to be prepared the motion as it is to be presented, prepare a supporting report and cause copies of each to be made available to Town Meeting Members at the required public hearing. If requested, the Select Board shall provide, or cause to be provided, assistance with the preparation of the formal motion.
(2) The Town Manager’s office shall cause a copy of each motion and supporting report to be delivered to Town Meeting Members at least seven (7) days before the first session of Town Meeting, unless prohibited by applicable law.
(3) Disapproved and deleted by the Attorney General.
(4) Any warrant articles requiring appropriation shall be deemed to fulfill the Reporting requirements of Section 3.8.2 if covered by the Finance Committee Report to the Town Meeting with the following exceptions:
- Finance Committee recommendation is deferred pending receipt of more specific information.
- Motions for acceptance and appropriation for collective bargaining agreements. Such motions shall require the statutory bargaining authority to prepare a written report as provided in Section 3.8.2.
(5) Copies of each final written motion as it is to be presented to the Town Meeting Should be available for distribution to Town Meeting Members at least thirty (30) minutes prior to the scheduled commencement of the opening session of Town Meeting.