A Town Meeting is both an event and an entity. As an event, it is a gathering of the town’s eligible voters, and is referred to as “the Town Meeting.” As an entity, it is the legislative body for towns in Massachusetts, and is referred to simply as “Town Meeting.”
The Town of Swampscott has a representative Town Meeting. In a representative Town Meeting, also called a limited Town Meeting, all of the town’s voters may vote for what are called Town Meeting Members. After the voters elect the Town Meeting Members, the Town Meeting Members act as the Town Meeting legislative body by conducting and voting on the business of Town Meeting.
Town Meeting decides three major things:
- It sets the salaries for the elected officials.
- It votes to appropriate money to run the town.
- It votes on the town’s local statutes, which are called by-laws.