Town Meeting is the legislative body for Wellesley that begins on the last Monday in March, and meets Monday and Tuesday nights until the job is done. The length depends upon how many items are on the town warrant, a listing of articles, including citizens’ petitions that only need 10 signatures to get on the docket.
Agenda items include the town budget, zoning bylaws, acquisitions, and more.
There are 240 voting town meeting members who are elected by eight precincts during the annual town election on the first Tuesday of March. Each precinct has 30 members elected to 3-year staggered terms.
You don’t need to attend or watch (on Wellesley Public Media) more than 1 Town Meeting to get a good feel for the movers-and-shakers, rabble-rousers, and other town characters. Votes have traditionally been taken by voice, though there’s a move afoot in 2019 to introduce electronic voting.
A moderator, chosen through town election, presides over Town Meeting. They’re charged with making obligatory Red Sox, weather and other jokes, too.
The moderator also appoints citizens to 5 standing committees. These committees are the Advisory Committee, the Audit Committee, four of the nine members of the Community Preservation Committee, the Human Resources Board, and the Permanent Building Committee.
Sometimes Special Town Meetings are held at times of the year other than March to address pressing issues.
Wellesley’s 2019 Town Meeting begins on March 25. A Special Town Meeting will also be held starting May 13.