Annual Town Meeting convenes for its second and final session of the year at noon this Saturday, Oct. 16. Attendees will gather once again under tents to debate and vote on proposals of consequence to the present and future of the town.
This special townwide issue of the Press is an all-hands effort by our staff to make it easier for residents to understand what’s at stake at Saturday’s session and to offer compelling reasons to attend.
Inside you’ll find our trademark “Warrant in Plain English,” a distillation and preview of the 19 articles whose outcomes Town Meeting participants will decide. We hope it helps readers make sense of the detail they’ll find in the warrant itself. We especially recommend the entries for Articles 3 through 9, which offer concise explanations of 24 pages of bylaw changes contained in the official warrant.
To aid everyone in mastering the vocabulary of town government, we’ve updated our “Glossary of Municipal Lingo.” And for new and old residents alike, we offer a “Guide to Town Meeting” that breaks down what to expect at this week’s gathering and how to participate.
Several articles on the warrant deserve, in our view, more than a summary. For those we’ve provided additional context and analysis. The articles we’ve targeted include measures to purchase and renovate a Lancaster County Road building to replace Hildreth House as the town’s senior center (Article 1); purchase a new combo aerial and pumper firetruck (Article 2); lower speed limits on town roads (Articles 10 and 11); adopt a climate resolution (Article 18); and sell the the Bromfield House and property as a private residence (Article 19). Look for our deeper dives into these topics in this issue.
Town Meeting is Harvard’s legislature, where every registered voter who attends gets to be a voting member—and where collectively we decide what’s best for the town we love and hold dear.