How to Submit a Petition on Town Meeting Warrant

Anyone can petition to have an issue put on the warrant for the Annual Town Meeting or for a Special Town Meeting. At this time, a petition can be brought to the Town Clerk for review as long as the warrant is still open. Speak with the Town Clerk about possible deadlines. The language of your petition is important. If you submit your petition ahead of the deadline, the Town Clerk will have the time to review it and help you reword it as needed. A petition must include the following information:

  1. If a petition seeks to modify an existing bylaw, it must clearly cite the bylaw which is being modified and whether it is a general or zoning bylaw.
  2. If the petition seeks to add a new bylaw, it must clearly state the information needed to place it within the town’s existing bylaws. If the petition amends a zoning bylaw, it must clearly identify the parcel(s) which are subject to the petition by street address, map, block, and lot designation.
  3. Printed name, signature, and address of those signing the petition. Those signing must reside in and be registered to vote in Wendell.

The time between the close of the warrant and the date of town meeting should be used to provide information to town residents and officials about the proposed article. The town meeting discussion will be much easier if the people attending town meeting have heard the idea and have received some information. As the petition sponsor, you are expected to appear at town meeting, make a motion for adoption of the article, provide a succinct explanation, and answer questions. Modifications to the language of the article may be proposed at town meeting. However, any changes need to be within the scope of the original article or they will not be entertained by the Town Moderator. Any changes need to be in writing and submitted to the Town Clerk at town meeting. Informational handouts may be distributed at town meeting and should be brought to the sign-in table at least 30 minutes before town meeting begins. A more detailed handout on the petition process in Wendell is available at the Town Clerk’s Office.

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