Town Meeting

Message from the Town Moderator. Welcome to the Carlisle Town Meeting Home Page. The traditional New England Town Meeting is the embodiment of "grass roots" democracy. Carlisle’s Annual and Special Town Meetings provide citizens with clear, direct access to their municipal government and allow the highest level of citizen participation. Our Town Meeting is a model of the best in local democracy.

An informed, educated citizenry is key to the effectiveness of Town Meeting. To that end, this website provides background information about the Town Meeting process, critical information about upcoming meetings, and historical information about past meetings. I hope you’ll find this a useful resource.

We do welcome families! Feel free to bring small children and you may sit with them in the Corey Cafeteria and fully participate with a two-way video connection. We also encourage high-school and middle school students to attend in the Main Auditorium and get a real, live civics lesson.

Please do email me with questions, comments, and suggestions for improvement.

Wayne H. Davis
Carlisle Town Moderator

About Town Meeting. Town Meeting is the legislative body for the Town of Carlisle. Its most fundamental responsibilities include:

  • Government Structure. Deciding what elected officers the Town will have (although not the individuals who actually fill the offices; they are elected at a town-wide election), what salary it will pay these officers, and their terms of office;
  • Town Finances. Deciding for what purposes the Town will spend money, how much may be spent for each purpose; and where the money will come from (i.e., current tax receipts, borrowing, or other sources);
  • Legislation. Adopting and amending laws (referred to as “bylaws”) that regulate matters such as:
    • The structure and operation of Town government
    • The organization and procedures for administration of Town business
    • The conduct of citizens
    • The use of land
    • How and where certain occupations may be conducted.

Carlisle holds an Annual Team Meeting each year in late April or early May. Special Town Meetings may be called at other times of the year.

For a one-page overview of the procedures followed at Town Meeting, see the Quick Start Guide (PDF). To find out more about Town Meeting, click here to download an overview (PDF).