Town Meeting and Warrant Articles

Black Cherry BlossomsThis past spring voters met for an all day discussion on a full range of articles. The Land Council reviewed the warrant and created a recommendation sheet on several of the articles. Affordable housing issues continue to dominate many discussions and culminated in the approval of an an article to create an affordable housing land bank. The Land Council voiced  concerns about the now constant push to change zoning and create more growth and density.

View the NLC 2016 Warrant Recommendations

Citizens Articles

The Town of Nantucket has a healthy tradition of citizen-submitted warrant articles for town meetings. Per Massachusetts General Law, citizen articles require the signatures of 10 registered voters (registered in the Town of Nantucket) for an annual town meeting and 100 registered voters for special town meetings. The Town of Nantucket has taken the unusual step of providing legal assistance in the preparation of citizen warrant articles. Generally it is between 2-4 weeks prior to the deadline for citizen article submittals. The timeline for Annual Town Meetings may be found on the Town of Nantucket website.

When your warrant article is ready to be submitted, please proceed as follows:

  1. Obtain the required number of signatures. Your article will not be accepted without valid signatures of the required number of voters registered in Nantucket. You may obtain more signatures than required, but not less. Please make sure the signatures are legible and that the names are legibly printed next to the signature. The first signature on the warrant article will become the sponsor of the article. It is best to be sure that signature is that of someone who can represent and speak to the article. Signature Petitions are available from the Town of Nantucket website.
  2. Submit your article to the Town Administration office, where it will be stamped in as “Received”, it will then be handed back to you for submittal to the Town Clerk’s office, where you may then submit it.
  3. If at all possible, please provide your article to the Town Administration office in MS Word format.

Some things to remember when preparing your warrant article:

  1. Your article will be printed in the warrant “as is”. This means that any spelling, grammatical, punctuation or typographical errors will be printed in the town meeting warrant document.
  2. You may be asked a lot of questions about your article by the various boards/committees/town agencies that may be reviewing it. It is recommended that you “do your homework” on the article and attend the meetings that are held about it.

Additional general information about warrant articles:

  1. Depending on what your warrant is meant to achieve (ie, bylaw amendment, home rule petition) it may require additional action from other agencies, such as the Commonwealth of Massachusetts if it is approved at Town Meeting. Do not assume that it will go into effect immediately upon passage.
  2. If your warrant article is NOT recommended by the Finance Committee and you still want to proceed with it, you will need to prepare a positive motion for it and submit it to the Moderator in writing prior to Town Meeting. Limited assistance is available from the Town to help you with a positive motion.
  3. If you have a funding proposal, please keep in mind that Town Meeting cannot mandate the funding for any more than the upcoming fiscal year.