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Stoneham Form of Government Survey

  1. Thank you for participating in the Town of Stoneham’s 2019 Form of Government Survey. Participating in this survey is the first step in determining your goals for our Town’s future and style of governing. I have compiled a list of important terms and definitions for your review before or while taking the survey.

  2. Bylaws: A rule or regulation adopted by a local authority or municipality.

  3. Charter: A legal document establishing a municipality. It defines the powers and functions of elected officials, the size and composition of the legislative body, appointment authority, operating and capital budget preparation, and the organization of departments.

  4. Charter Commission: A group of elected or appointed officials that considers the options for changing the structure of local government and drafts proposals for adoption by a majority of voters at a municipal election.

  5. Mayor: The mayor is the chief executive who appoints key officials and all or some boards, and prepares budgets, approves contracts, negotiates with unions and oversees administration. A mayor may be empowered to veto some Town Council actions. The mayor is also usually a voting member of school committee.

  6. Town Council: The elected Council is the legislative body, and adopts budgets, adopts laws (ordinances, zoning, etc.), approves indebtedness (bonding), and may be empowered to approve or veto some Mayoral appointments. The council also may appoint some boards and committees.

  7. Open Town Meeting: Town Meeting acts as the legislative body of the town. All voters are eligible to debate and vote on budgets, bylaws and all matters brought before town meetings, and approve indebtedness.

  8. Representative Town Meeting (RTM): RTM is the legislative body of town and it debates and approves budgets, bylaws, and all matters brought before town meeting. A limited number of voters are elected, usually by precinct, to represent all voters in an RTM. Size can vary widely (less than 100 to more than 300). RTM also approves indebtedness (bonding).

  9. For a more complete description of the many forms of government in Massachusetts, you may visit the following websites/pages:

  10. This survey will be open until October 1, 2019, after which time the Select Board will publish the results and conduct a meeting to discuss them and any potential next steps. Once again, thank you for taking the time to participate in this very important survey.

  11. Very truly yours,

  12. Shelly MacNeill

  13. Chair – Stoneham Select Board

  14. 1. Should Stoneham revisit its form of government?

  15. Select One*

  16. 2. Do you attend Town Meeting?

  17. Select One*

  18. 3. Do you understand what happens at Town Meeting?

  19. Select One*

  20. 4. Are you aware of what a representative at Town Meeting would do?

  21. Select One*

  22. 5. Are you in favor of a Charter Commission or Government Study Committee?

  23. Select One*

  24. 6. Would you be willing to serve on such a committee?

  25. Select One*

  26. 7. What is your preferred method of delivery for information regarding Town Meeting?

  27. Leave This Blank:

  28. This field is not part of the form submission.