Town Meeting Page
Open Town Meeting is the form of democratic governing practiced in Tyngsborough, used for over 250 years. Special Town Meetings occur throughout the year when deemed necessary. Any registered voter may participate in Town Meeting. You can check your voter registration status by clicking here.
Unlike an election, there are no alternative voting methods for Town Meeting. Attendance must be in person. Due to the nature of the meeting, and the possibility of amendments on Town Meeting floor, there is no absentee or early voting for Town Meeting. While all Town Meetings are recorded and broadcast live, there are no virtual participation methods available.
State law requires that municipalities host at least one meeting, Annual Town Meeting, each Spring. This meeting is the primary business meeting for municipalities. This is where the Annual Town Budget is approved, thus funding government operations for the following fiscal year. Tyngsborough typically also hosts a Town Meeting each Fall or early winter. The Board of Selectmen may call a Special Town Meeting at any time and residents may call a Special Town Meeting through a citizen’s petition.
The Town Meeting is moderated by the Town Moderator who is elected by the Town for a term of 3 years. The Moderator is currently Robert L. Kydd, Jr. whose term expires in 2023.
You can watch Town Meetings on Verizon channel 29 and Comcast channel 8 as well as stream it live here.
Upcoming Town Meetings & Events
- Fall Town Meeting – Tuesday, October 25, 2022 at 7:00 PM at Tyngsborough Elementary School
October 25, 2022 Warrant Articles – You can find a summary of the warrant articles below & how the Finance Committee & Board of Selectmen voted on them. A complete version of the warrant including the full text of each article can be found in the folder below or by clicking here.
|Article||Summary||Finance Committee Vote||Board of Selectmen Vote|
|Article 1: Transfer of funds from free cash||To transfer $200,000 to general stabilization. To allocate $50,000 for hazardous material abatement at the Winslow School.||5-0-0 Recommend||5-0-0 Recommend|
|Article 2: Sewer Enterprise Fund Retained Earnings Transfer||To transfer $78,525 from the Sewer Department’s retained earnings to their capital line item for new sewer pump station grinders.||5-0-0 Recommend||5-0-0 Recommend|
|Article 3: Zoning Bylaw Amendments & Recodification||
To see if the Town will vote to amend the Town’s Zoning bylaws based on recommendations from the Zoning Review Committee. These will be housekeeping items, not substantial changes to the Zoning.
|5-0-0 Recommend||5-0-0 Recommend|
|Article 4: Zoning Bylaw Amendment- Signs||To see if the Town will vote to amend the Town’s Zoning Bylaws as they relate to sign regulations.||5-0-0 Recommend||5-0-0 Recommend|
|Article 5: Accept MGL Chapter 59, Section 5 relative to a Disabled Veterans Real Estate Tax Exemption||To see if the Town will vote to accept a provision of MGL that will allow the Town to exapnd the ownership criteria for the tax exemption for Disabled Veterans.||5-0-0 Recommend||5-0-0 Recommend|
|Article 6: Town General Bylaws- Tyngsborough Affordable Housing Trust||To see if the Town will vote to approve the affordable housing trust bylaws.||5-0-0 Recommend||5-0-0 Recommend|
|Article 7: Rescind Prior Funding Authorization: Community Preservation Committee Fund||To see if the Town will vote to rescind a prior CPC authorization.||5-0-0 Recommend||5-0-0 Recommend|
|Article 8: Appropriation: Community Preservation Committee Fund||To see if the Town will approve the Community Preservation Committee Funding approvals.||5-0-0 Recommend||5-0-0 Recommend|
|Article 9: Town General Bylaws- Solicitor Registration||
To see if the Town will vote to add language to the Town’s General Bylaws requiring door-to-door solicitors following a prescribed registration process.
|5-0-0 Recommend||5-0-0 Recommend|
|Article 10: Town General Bylaws: Regulation of Dogs||
To see if the Town will vote to amend the leash law to make it a 24 hour requirement.
|Article 11: Special Act to establish a Department of Public Works||
To see if the Town will vote to authorize the Board of Selectmen to submit a special act to the Legislature to form a Department of Public Works. Video Explainer
|5-0-0 Recommend||4-1-0 Recommend|
|Article 12: Prior Year Bills||To see if the Town will vote to approve the payment of prior year bills.||5-0-0 Recommend||5-0-0 Recommend|
What is the warrant?
The Town Meeting Warrant is the notice to Tyngsborough residents that shows what issues or questions are going to be considered at the Town Meeting. The warrant presents each issue as an “article” which is a question asking the voters of Tyngsborough how they wish to proceed on a particular issue. The warrant is prepared by the Board of Selectmen and each article is placed on the warrant by a vote of the Board of Selectmen. Additionally, the Board of Selectmen and the Finance Committee individually vote their recommendations on each article. This is meant to serve as a reference point for voters.
Citizens can place an article on the warrant through the citizen’s petition procedure. This requires that a resident draft the article and obtain at least ten signatures from registered voters in Tyngsborough. That petition would be filed with the Town Clerk. The Board of Selectmen is obligated to place any citizen’s petition but is not obligated to recommend the article.
Town Meeting Procedure
The Town Moderator is the leader of the Town Meeting and the Warrant serves as the agenda. The Moderator will call the Town Meeting to order once a quorum is established. All voters attending the meeting will have first checked in with the Town Clerk’s Office similar to how it is done during elections.
For each warrant article, a member of the Board of Selectmen will make a motion on how to proceed. A different member will typically second the motion. Once a motion and a second have been made, a member of the Board of Selectmen will then explain the article. Once the article has been explained, the Moderator will open the floor for discussion. It is at this point that interested residents may speak for or against an article. This is also an opportunity to ask questions about the article. Once all discussion has ended, the Town Moderator will call for a vote. Most votes are conducted by a voice vote. If the voice vote is not clear, the moderator may call for a vote by card. At this time, residents will hold up their specially issued voting card to indicate their voting preference. If the card vote is not clear, the moderator may opt for a hand count where volunteers will walk around and physically count each voter holding up their card. The final option for voting is a ballot vote. This vote is coordinated by the Town Clerk and involves each voter casting their vote in a ballot box for hand counting by poll workers. This method of voting can be called upon by a vote of Town Meeting on any warrant article.
Articles may be amended on Town Meeting floor by any voter. While a voter may articulate an amendment by voice, the Moderator reserves the right to require any amendments be submitted to him/her in writing to ensure it is recorded correctly in the minutes. To make an amendment, a voter should rise to the microphone and “move to amend article __ by ___”. The motion to amend must receive a second from another voter. Amendments require a simple majority vote to pass. Once an amendment has been made, the moderator would then call for a second vote to approve the article as amended.
Did you miss the 2022 Annual Town Meeting held on May 3, 2022? You can watch the recording of the meeting by visiting the video on demand portion of the Tyngsborough MA website.
Town Meeting Supporting Documents
Town Meeting Minutes
Town Meeting Guidebooks & Warrants
Notable Past Town Meeting Votes and Updates
Ever wonder what came of that Town Meeting vote? Browse through a few notable outcomes from votes. If you have a suggestion for something we can spotlight, reach out on the contact page.