Understanding Town Meeting

Eastham Town SealTown Meeting is the legislative body of the town. It is held annually in the spring and in the fall, on a date designated by the Board of Selectmen. Town Meeting authorizes and appropriates an annual operating budget and capital budget for the Town. It also considers, and acts upon, all proposed bylaws and zoning changes. All matters to be acted upon are published in the "Warrant."

  1. What is a Warrant?
  2. Definitions

Town Meeting Warrants

A warrant is a document issued by the Board of Selectmen to call a town meeting.

Warrants essentially list an agenda of items called articles to be voted on by those present. Items on the agenda can vary significantly, from the annual operating budget of the town to adjustment of by-laws.

Adding Articles to Warrant

In Massachusetts, residents may place articles on the warrant without approval of the Selectmen by petitioning to insert the article. Petitions to insert an article on the warrant for an Annual Town Meeting require ten signatures of eligible Eastham voters. Petitions to insert an article on the warrant for a Special Town Meeting require 100 signatures or the signatures of 10% of the registered voters in the town, whichever is less. 

The Warrant for the Annual Town Meeting is usually open for acceptance of articles several weeks before Town Meeting. Please contact the Town Clerk's office with any questions on Town meeting or how to submit an article for consideration.