Procedure for RECONSIDERATION of Town Meeting Vote
Editor note: There has been a lot of talk of reconsidering the vote not to sell Prescott School at Monday's session of town Meeting. Therefore, we offer below a review of procedures for reconsidering a vote.
Reconsideration of a vote taken at Town Meeting is an uncommon but necessary procedure because situations change and mistakes can be made. At town meeting, reconsideration of an article can take place at any time during the meeting, but not after the meeting is dissolved. Once town meeting is dissolved, nothing can be reconsidered at a future meeting, rather it must be introduced as a new article at a new meeting. Next Monday's Town Meeting is considered a continuation of the first session of Town Meeting because we voted to adjourn the meeting, not dissolve it. Therefore, the vote on Prescott school is subject to reconsideration.
According to Groton Town Clerk Mike Bouchard, this is the procedure for reconsidering a town meeting vote:
Someone from the prevailing side must request reconsideration. [In the case of the Prescott school vote, the 'NOs' prevailed.]
The vote for reconsideration must be based on the person having learned 'new information'. [In other words, it is not acceptable for the person to simply have changed their mind - they must have learned something new that convinced them to change.]
The person must offer a motion for reconsideration based on this 'new information.' [Ultimately, the Moderator decides if the motive for reconsideration is credible.]
It is unclear, at this time, whether a majority or two-thirds vote is required for reconsideration.
If Town Meeting votes to reconsider the article, debate begins anew just as if the article were newly introduced.