Town Meeting

2024 Town Meeting 

2024 Annual Town Meeting: May 6, 2024 ~ 7:00 P.M. Veterans Middle School Auditorium, 217 Pleasant Street

2024 Town Meeting Warrant 

Open Town Meeting Form of Government

Marblehead operates under an open Town Meeting form of government. With an open Town Meeting, all registered voters of the Town are eligible to participate as opposed to a representative Town Meeting where only elected representatives may participate.

Residents who attend Town Meeting, which convenes annually on the first Monday in May and continues on successive nights until all business is concluded, approve department budgets, purchases of equipment, the addition of Town personnel, changes to the Town's bylaws, the purchase and disposal of property and bond issues for large purchases or projects.

Town Moderator, Jack Attridge, can be reached at 781-883-3200 or for any questions that you may have about Town Meeting or submitting a Citizen's Petition.

For the Town Moderator's webpage please click here

For the Town Meeting Guide, please click here.

For a Citizens Petition Form, please click here.

Special Town Meetings

Special Town Meetings may be convened at any time during the year, usually to fund emergency monetary requests or to approve contracts with municipal employees.

Private citizens or groups may call for a Special Town Meeting by collecting the signatures of 200 registered voters and presenting their petition to the Select Board .


To attend Town Meeting, residents must be registered to vote at least twenty days before the meeting (ten days for a Special Town Meeting). Voter registration information is available on the Town Clerk's Elections & Voting page.

Non-registered residents and visitors can observe the proceedings by obtaining a visitor's pass and being seated in a non-voter section.


The Town Meeting warrant is issued by the Select Board and lists all of the articles to be acted upon by the Town Meeting.  Articles may be sponsored by the Select Board, town departments or by any citizen who has obtained the signatures of ten registered voters for the Annual Town Meeting or one hundred signatures for a Special Town Meeting.  Articles for inclusion in the warrant must be presented to the Select Board at least sixty days prior to Town Meeting.  The warrant is then posted at ten prominent locations throughout the Town for thirty days before the Town Meeting.

The warrant is also printed in the Report of the Finance Committee, which is available prior to the Town Meeting in print form at several public locations, as well as on the Town's website, and at the Town Meeting in print form.


Prior to Town Meeting, the Finance Committee holds a public hearing to provide an opportunity for town officials and citizen petitioners to discuss their articles that impact the Town financially. 

The Town Moderator, who is elected annually, presides over Town Meeting. The Moderator reads the article-based motion to be considered. The sponsor of the article may then speak followed by any possible discussion by the voters and/or act upon the motion. any voter may speak to the motion by requesting to address the Moderator, identifying himself or herself with their name and address and confining his or her remarks to the specific motion under consideration. A voter may debate the question by standing to address the Moderator, identifying himself or herself and confining his or her remarks to the specific issue under consideration. 

Voting is usually done by a show of hands and most articles are passed by a simple majority.  State law requires a two-thirds vote for bond issues, the acquisition or sale of land and amendments to zoning bylaws and a four-fifths vote is required to authorize payment of bills from a previous year.  Prior to taking a hand vote, nine or more voters may request a written vote with unsigned ballots. 

A person who voted on the prevailing side of an article may propose, on the same night as the original vote, a reconsideration of the vote.  A two-thirds vote is required for an article to be reconsidered. If, on the same night of the original vote, a voter gives the Moderator a notice of intention to reconsider the article on the following evening, reconsideration would also require a two-thirds vote. If no notice is given on the evening of the original vote, a nine-tenths vote is required to approve reconsideration on the following evening. 

Motions may also be made from the floor to "place on the table" (postpone) a vote until later that evening or to another evening of the same Town Meeting, to commit the article to further study by a committee, to amend an article or to postpone an article indefinitely.  These motions must be in writing and presented to the Moderator.

A Practical Guide to Marblehead Town Meeting by Gary Speiss, former Town Moderator, wrote the guide in March, 2022. "The General" section speaks eloquently about some of the nuances of which the current Moderator is in full agreement with.