Citizens can write warrant articles for town meeting to propose changes to local laws, regulations, taxing, and spending.
A warrant for the annual town meeting requires signatures from 10 town residents, while a special town meeting requires 100 signatures. It is advisable to review the language of the warrant article in advance with town counsel.
The deadline for the article is before the Selectmen close the warrant.
What Are Examples of Citizen Articles?
These citizen articles were considered by the 2017 Annual Lexington Town Meeting:
ARTICLE 18 APPROPRIATE FOR VISITORS CENTER
ARTICLE 31 RESOLUTION TO REDUCE THE INFLUENCE OF MONEY IN POLITICS
ARTICLE 32 ESTABLISH CANNABIS COMMITTEE
ARTICLE 39 AMEND GENERAL BYLAWS – RIGHT TO FARM
ARTICLE 45 AMEND ZONING BYLAW – BALANCED HOUSING DEVELOPMENTS
ARTICLE 46 AMEND ZONING BYLAW – CHAPTER 135 MEDICAL MARIJUANA
It’s tough going with Lexington for citizen articles. Article 31 (purely symbolic with no clear ramification) passed, article 18 was amended downward, and the other articles failed.
However, it’s up to you and your neighbors to get involved in local politics. It only takes 10 registered voters to place an article on a warrant and make your case before town meeting!