Town Meeting Study Committee

Charter

The Select Board establishes the Town’s Town Meeting Study Committee to investigate and recommend strategies to heighten citizen engagement in the Town Meeting process and improve Town Meeting.

Focuses of the committee include:

  • Development and review of the Warrant Article submission process
  • Public understanding and engagement before Town Meeting
  • Logistics of Town Meeting, including scheduling, childcare, accessibility, etc.
  • Conduct and process of Town Meeting, including debate rules, voting, remote access, etc.
  • Alternatives to Town Meeting

The Town Meeting Study Committee should consider Town Meeting as a whole as well as major components, including but not limited to the processes involved with approvals of the Town Budget, the Carlisle Public Schools and Concord-Carlisle High School budgets, zoning bylaws, and Community Preservation Act projects.  The Committee is responsible for collating feedback from stakeholders in the Town Meeting process, including the Moderator, Town Clerk, Town Administrator, town boards and committees, and  residents. The Committee should, in particular, seek feedback from boards and committees with a recurring role in Town Meeting, including but not limited to the Select Board and Finance Committee, the School Committee (school budget), Planning Board (zoning), and the Community Preservation Committee, Conservation Commission, Affordable Housing Trust, and Recreation Commission (Community Preservation Act). Feedback will be solicited through formal and informal means. The Committee will investigate practices and experience in other towns as needed. Ideas and suggestions may be made by the Committee to relevant actors or stakeholders at any time for their consideration of implementation. The intention of the Committee is to encourage experimentation and rapid implementation.

The Town Meeting Study Committee will submit a final report to the Select Board which shall include evaluation of any interim experiments or changes already implemented. summary of research and feedback, and final recommendations.

Membership: Members are appointed by the Select Board, in consultation with the Moderator. The Select Board reserves the right to designate the Chair. The Select Board and Finance Committee will be given the option to nominate a current or recent member of their body to serve. The Town Administrator or designee will serve as a non-voting member. Other members shall include interested citizens. Recommended size: seven (7) members, with possibility to name associate members, plus the Moderator to serve ex officio, without vote (and not counted for quorum).   The Town Administrator will designate a staff member to provide support on a limited, as-needed basis.

Term and Timelines: Through June 30, 2025. During its period of service, the Committee is requested to deliver:

  1. Interim recommendations whenever they see fit, including any that could be implemented in time for the Spring 2024 Town Meeting;
  2. Interim recommendations that may affect the timeline for development and adoption of the warrant no later than September 30, 2024; and

A Final Report by June 30, 2025, with the expectation that the report includes evaluation of suggestions implemented through the Spring 2025 Town Meeting.