Hardwick Town Meeting: A Community Gathering for Decision Making

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In the town of Hardwick, MA, community members gather yearly for the Hardwick Town Meeting. This meeting, held on March 3, 2020, serves as a platform for the townspeople to make important decisions, elect town officers, and discuss various matters concerning the community. The meeting provides an opportunity for individuals to voice their opinions and actively participate in the decision-making process for their town. This article will provide a comprehensive overview of the Hardwick Town Meeting, including key points, procedures, and highlights from the meeting.

Key Points from the Hardwick Town Meeting

  1. Organizations in the Lobby: As attendees entered the meeting venue, they noticed different organizations set up in the lobby. These organizations included the Lamoille Valley Rail Trail, the library presentation, the Friends of Hardwick Elementary School, and Reach, which provided information about their after-school program. The Hazen music group also provided food to raise money for their trip to Ireland. These organizations added a lively and informative atmosphere to the Town Meeting.

  2. Introductions: The head table at the meeting consisted of various town officials and managers who introduced themselves to the attendees. These individuals included the town manager, the chair of the select board, select board members, the police chief, and several other important roles within the town government. The introduction helped establish a sense of community and gave attendees an idea of who was present to address their concerns.

  3. Voting: In addition to the discussions and decision-making, attendees had the opportunity to vote on several important matters. This included voting in the presidential primary, as well as voting on the Orleans South West Union Elementary School District and Union number 26 school budgets for the year 2021. Voting for select board members and Union Board members also took place.

  4. Rules and Procedures: The meeting followed Roberts Rules of Order as the basic rules of order for conducting the meeting. It was essential for attendees to understand the procedures and guidelines to ensure an orderly and efficient meeting. The rules emphasized that all motions and remarks should be addressed to the moderator and that articles must be moved, seconded, and restated before debate could begin.

  5. Role of the Moderator: The moderator played a crucial role in explaining procedural questions and maintaining order throughout the meeting. Attendees were encouraged to ask questions if they needed clarification on any matter being voted on. The moderator also ensured that everyone followed proper decorum and addressed any point of order promptly.

  6. Suspension of Rules and Amendments: The meeting had provisions for the suspension of rules by a two-thirds majority. This allowed for the efficient handling of certain matters, such as appropriations, as a block. However, attendees still had the opportunity to discuss each individual article to the extent they wished. Amendments to articles were also allowed, with the option to amend the amendments themselves before voting on the main motion.

  7. Nominations and Elections: The meeting included the election of various town officers and school district directors. Nominations were made for each position, and a vote was taken for electing the officers. Paper ballots were required for the election of Town Listers and Auditors. It was important for attendees to note that they could speak only once on a motion or amendment until all other voters had a chance to speak.

Procedure of the Hardwick Town Meeting

  1. Announcements and Introductions: The meeting started with announcements about the different organizations present in the lobby and their purpose. The head table introduced themselves, including the town manager, select board members, and other officials.

  2. Opening Remarks: The moderator welcomed the attendees and provided information about voting procedures and the importance of maintaining a respectful and orderly meeting.

  3. Voting: Attendees were reminded to vote in the presidential primary and were informed about the voting on school district budgets and select board members.

  4. Rules and Amendments: The rules of order were explained to attendees to ensure a fair and organized meeting. The procedures for making motions, amendments, and voting were outlined.

  5. Nominations and Elections: Nominations were made for various town officer positions, and a vote was taken to elect the officers. Paper ballots were used for the election of Town Listers and Auditors.

  6. Discussion and Voting: Once the nominations and elections were completed, the meeting proceeded to discuss and vote on various articles. Attendees had the opportunity to express their opinions, ask questions, and vote on each item.

  7. Point of Order and Procedures: Attendees were encouraged to raise a point of order if they had any concerns or questions about the proper conduct of the meeting. The moderator ensured that everyone had a chance to speak and that deliberations were conducted in an orderly fashion.

  8. Conclusion: The meeting concluded with a reminder about the availability of bathrooms and the distribution of paperwork related to future discussion topics.


The Hardwick Town Meeting on March 3, 2020, brought together the residents of the town to actively participate in the decision-making process for their community. The meeting provided an opportunity for individuals to voice their opinions, elect town officers, discuss important matters, and vote on various articles. By adhering to the rules and procedures outlined by Roberts Rules of Order, the meeting was conducted in an orderly and efficient manner. The Hardwick Town Meeting exemplified the importance of community engagement and collaboration in shaping the future of the town.

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