Town Meeting is Brookline’s Legislative arm of government. It consists of 240 elected Town Meeting members (PDF), plus the members of the Select Board, and any state representative or state senator who resides in Brookline. In addition, the Town Moderator, who presides over Town Meeting, and the Town Clerk, who acts as secretary, are voting members. The 240 are elected by precinct, with 15 members elected from each of the town’s 16 precincts. The members are elected for staggered 3-year terms so that 5 members are elected from each precinct each year in the May annual town election.
Running for Town Meeting
Elections for Town Meeting Members are held each May with at least 1/3 of all positions open to candidates. Candidates for Town Meeting can pick up nomination papers at the Town Clerk’s office during business hours. Town Meeting Member nomination papers require 10 certified signatures from the precinct from which the candidate is running.
Responsibilities & Meetings
Town Meeting is responsible for passing a balanced annual town budget, and enacts all town bylaws. An Annual Town Meeting is held in the spring to enact the following year’s budget, plus whatever other matters are placed on the Town Meeting warrant, either by the Select Board or by citizen petition. The Annual Town Meeting is usually held the last week in May or the first week in June. A special Town Meeting is held each fall, usually in November, to deal with any budget changes, zoning by-law amendments, or other matters placed on the warrant. See the Town Meeting Members Handbook (PDF) for more information on Town Meeting and its procedures.
Although only elected Town Meeting members may vote and propose motions, the public is invited to attend and the sessions are carried live on Brookline Access Television.
Annually after the Town Election, and prior to the start of the Annual Town Meeting, the Moderator conducts an Orientation Session for newly-elected Town Meeting Members. A YouTube video of the 2019 Orientation may be viewed here: