Town Meeting Members Association Bylaws

Approved March 8, 1978 and amended March 20, 1985; March 20, 1986; March 11, 1998; March 17, 2005 and March 5, 2008

Article I - Purpose

The Town Meeting Members of Lexington, Massachusetts, in order better to fulfill the obligations of the representative form of government, have established this Association to acquaint themselves more fully with the facts necessary for intelligent decisions and to assist in any other constructive way in the government of Lexington.

Article II - General Organization

Section 1 - Name

This organization shall be known as the Lexington Town Meeting Members Association or TMMA.

Section 2- TMMA Membership

Membership shall be limited to elected Town Meeting Members and Town Meeting Members-at-Large.

Section 3 - Executive Committee
  1. Membership. There shall be an Executive Committee consisting of the TMMA Officers elected in accordance with the provisions of Article II, Sections 4 and 5, and the Precinct Officers elected in accordance with the provisions of Article III, Sections 1 and 2. In addition, any former TMMA Officer who remains a Town Meeting Member may elect to serve as an emeritus member of the Executive Committee for up to two years after leaving office.
  2. Meetings. The Executive Committee shall hold regular meetings during the year for the purpose of keeping abreast of Town affairs, particularly matters that may become the subject of future Town Meeting action, or for any other purpose relating to Town Meeting. The Executive Committee shall meet upon the call of the Chair, or at the request of five (5) Executive Committee members, with reasonable notice. The presence of nine (9) members, with at least five (5) precincts represented, shall constitute a quorum. Decisions shall be made by a majority of those members present and voting.
  3. Attendance. Executive Committee meetings shall be open to all TMMA members. Any TMMA member who is not a member of the Executive Committee may enter into Committee deliberations upon recognition by the Chair, but shall not vote.
  4. Activities. The Executive Committee shall undertake such activities as it deems appropriate to educate and inform Town Meeting Members and the public at large about pending and upcoming Town Meeting issues, including but not limited to the preparation of a warrant information booklet, the conduct of warrant information meetings, the conduct of bus tours or on-site visits, and the maintenance of a TMMA web site and email list. To this end, the Executive Committee may appoint subcommittees, working groups or task forces from among the TMMA membership from time to time when considered appropriate to the purposes of the TMMA.
  5. Political Activity. When supporting or opposing candidates or ballot questions, or when engaged in any other political activity, Executive Committee Members shall not use their Executive Committee title, or otherwise hold themselves out as representing the TMMA, unless specifically authorized by vote of the Executive Committee.
Section 4- TMMA Officers
  1. Officers. The TMMA shall elect annually from among the members of the TMMA, in accordance with Article II, Section 5C, the following TMMA officers: a Chair, a Vice-Chair, a Treasurer, a Clerk, a Communications Officer, and an Email List Moderator. These officers shall perform the duties normally associated with such offices, or as further specified by vote of the Executive Committee.
  2. Term. The term of each office shall be for one year, commencing on the first day of the Annual Town Meeting. Outgoing Officers shall continue in office until this date, whether or not re-elected to Town Meeting. The Chair, Vice-Chair and Treasurer shall not serve in the same office for more than two consecutive terms.
  3. Disqualifications. The following individuals shall not serve as TMMA Officers: townwide elected officials; members of the Appropriation Committee and the Capital Expenditures Committee; salaried employees of the Town; and Town Meeting Members-at-Large.
  4. Leaves and Vacancies. A TMMA Officer shall take a leave of absence in order to run for townwide office, and may take a leave of absence for other exigent reasons with the consent of the Executive Committee. In the Chair's absence, the Vice-Chair shall perform the duties of Chair for such time as the absence shall continue. A permanent vacancy in any TMMA office, or an absence in any office other than Chair, shall be filled by vote of the Executive Committee.
Section 5- TMMA Meetings
  1. Annual Meeting. The Chair shall call an Annual Meeting of the TMMA to be held on a date after the annual town election, but before the commencement of the Annual Town Meeting.
  2. Treasurer's Report. At the Annual Meeting, the Treasurer shall present a Treasurer's report setting forth the TMMA's assets and liabilities as of December 31 of the previous calendar year, its income and expenditures during the previous calendar year, and a brief statement of major changes through the date of the Annual Meeting.
  3. Election of Officers. TMMA Officers shall be elected at the Annual Meeting as follows:
    1. Prior to the Annual Meeting, the Chair shall appoint a Nominating Committee consisting of three TMMA members who are not TMMA Officers, and at least one of whom shall be a member of the Executive Committee. The Nominating Committee shall prepare a slate of proposed candidates for TMMA Officers for the ensuing year.
    2. The Chair shall present to the Annual Meeting the slate prepared by the Nominating Committee. After entertaining any additional nominations from the floor, the Chair shall put the question of the election of TMMA Officers to a vote.
  4. General Meetings. Additional general meetings of the TMMA membership may be called by the Chair with reasonable notice when deemed appropriate. A general meeting shall be called upon the request in writing of twenty-five (25) TMMA members.
  5. Quorum and Voting. The presence of fifty (50) Members shall constitute a quorum at a general meeting. Except to amend these bylaws under Article IV, decisions of the TMMA membership, including the election of TMMA Officers at the Annual Meeting, shall be made by a majority of those present and voting, as determined in accordance with the voting procedures customarily used at Town Meeting.
Section 6 - Dues

The Executive Committee shall establish annually, prior to the TMMA Annual Meeting, dues in an amount sufficient to defray the reasonable expenses of the TMMA. Such dues shall be payable by voluntary contribution.

Article III - Precinct Organization

Section 1- Precinct Officers
  1. Officers. The TMMA Members of each precinct shall elect annually from among the precinct Town Meeting Members, in accordance with Article III, section 2(B), the following Precinct Officers: Precinct Chair, Precinct Vice-Chair and Precinct Clerk.
  2. Duties. The Precinct Officers shall represent their respective precincts at meetings of the TMMA Executive Committee, and shall participate to the best of their ability in the activities of the Executive Committee. In addition, the Precinct Officers shall have the following duties:
    1. Precinct Chair: The Precinct Chair shall be the presiding Officer at TMMA precinct meetings; oversee the nomination of candidates for TMMA precinct offices and the conduct of TMMA precinct elections; assist in the distribution of information to precinct Town Meeting Members during the Annual Town Meeting or any special town meeting; encourage the attendance of precinct Town Meeting Members at TMMA informational meetings or other TMMA activities; promote discussions and contacts among precinct Town Meeting Members concerning Town Meeting business; and help to maintain civility and decorum during Town Meeting sessions.
    2. Precinct Vice-Chair: The Precinct Vice-Chair shall assist the Precinct Chair in the performance of the Precinct Chair's duties; stand in for the Precinct Chair at precinct meetings and Town Meeting sessions during the Precinct Chair's absence; and stand in for the Precinct Clerk at Town Meeting during the Precinct Clerk's absence.
    3. Precinct Clerk: The Precinct Clerk shall count and report precinct Town Meeting Members' votes when a standing vote is called at Town Meeting; collect TMMA dues from precinct Town Meeting Members; and stand in for or assist the Precinct Chair and Vice-Chair in the performance of their duties as may be necessary.
  3. Term. The term of each Precinct Officer shall be for one year. The Precinct Chair and Vice- Chair shall not serve in the same office for more than two consecutive terms.
  4. Vacancies. In the event of a vacancy in the office of Precinct Chair, the Precinct Vice-Chair shall assume the office of Precinct Chair. In the event of a vacancy in the office of Precinct Vice-Chair or Clerk, the remaining Precinct Officers shall appoint a replacement from among the precinct Town Meeting Members for the balance of the term.
Section 2- Precinct Meetings
  1. Annual Meeting. An Annual Precinct Meeting shall be held prior to the Annual Meeting of the TMMA, at such time and place as directed or approved by the TMMA Chair.
  2. Election of Precinct Officers. Precinct Officers shall be elected at the Annual Precinct Meeting as follows:
    1. Prior to the Annual Precinct Meeting, any precinct Town Meeting Member may notify the Precinct Chair of his or her desire to be a candidate, or to nominate another precinct Town Meeting Member, for a precinct office.
    2. The Precinct Chair shall present at the Annual Precinct Meeting the names of all candidates who have volunteered, or who have been nominated by others and consented to run, for precinct office. After entertaining any additional nominations from the floor, the Precinct Chair shall put the question of the election of Precinct Officers to a vote.
    3. Precinct Officers shall be chosen by majority vote of those present and voting at the Annual Precinct Meeting. They shall assume office immediately upon completion of the election and announcement of the results.
  3. General Meetings. Additional precinct meetings may be called by the Precinct Chair with reasonable notice when deemed appropriate, and shall be called upon the request of the Executive Committee or upon the written request of five (5) members from the precinct.
  4. Quorum. The presence of five (5) precinct Town Meeting Members shall constitute a quorum at a precinct meeting.

Article IV - Amendments

These bylaws may be amended, on the initiative of the Executive Committee or of any twenty-five (25) TMMA members, by a two-thirds vote of those present and voting at a duly called general meeting of the TMMA membership.

Last Modified on March 09, 2010, at 11:57 AM EST


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