Articles for the Special Town Meeting on Monday, May 8, 2017 at 8:00pm must be received by the Selectmen's Office no later than Tuesday, March 21, 2017.
By law, there are no required dates for special town meetings. However, in general, a special town meeting is always held on the same night at the Annual Town Meeting, with the special town meeting beginning at 8:00pm (the annual town meeting adjourns at approximately 8:00pm, the special town meeting is held and then the annual town meeting resumes). Usually, as with the Annual Town Meeting, special town meetings are held in the Multi-Purpose Room of the Halifax Elementary School, 464 Plymouth Street.
On occasion, the Board of Selectmen may schedule a special town meeting during other times of the year. The warrant, or the list of articles to be discussed and voted upon, is distributed to all households in Halifax in advance of the meeting. Copies of the warrant are available at the Town Meeting, on-line or at the Halifax Town Hall. If the special town meeting is held on the same night as an annual town meeting, the warrants for both meetings are included in one booklet.
Most articles are submitted by town departments, boards and committees. Residents may submit an article for the special town meeting by petition which must include the proper language for the article and the signatures and addresses of at least one hundred Halifax registered voters. Assistance in wording the article is available from the Town Administrator. The deadline for submission for all articles is set by the Board of Selectmen. Residents who wish to meet this deadline are encouraged to submit petition articles for the special town meeting as early in the year as possible.
If a special town meeting has not been scheduled and residents want one to be held, residents can submit a petition article with the signatures and addresses of at least two hundred Halifax registered voters. Once the petition has been received and certified, the Board of Selectmen is required to schedule a special town meeting.
In general, the articles at the special town meeting held on the same night as the annual town meeting include transfer of appropriations for the current budget and articles for which approval at the special town meeting instead of the annual town meeting is necessary. Articles at other special town meetings may range from revisions in the budget to new appropriations to amendments in the Town's by-laws. All Halifax registered voters are eligible to attend, vote and participate at the special town meeting. Residents must register to vote at least ten days before the date of the special town meeting in order to participate at the meeting. Persons who are not registered voters in Halifax are permitted to attend the meeting, but must sit in a special, designated section on the right-side of the room, near the stage.
The meeting is run by the Town Moderator with advice, as necessary, from Town Counsel and the Town Clerk.
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