By-law amendment requiring the posting of documents associated with public meetings

Petitioner: Neil Gordon, TMM1

Speicial Town Meeting, November 2017

Pursuant to Article 3.21 of the Town By-laws (adopted in 2007 after a Brookline PAX initiative), meeting notices and agendas are required to be posted electronically on the Town website, and disseminated electronically to all who ask. That has, after an adjustment period and with some "Town Hall" leadership and effort, been a great success.

This Warrant Article addresses a gap in providing information to the public, and proposes that relevant information that is being or has been provided to boards, committees and commissions be posted electronically on the Town website, as well. After several requests from the floor of Town Meeting and otherwise, some bodies (and especially the Board of Selectmen) have made a welcome effort, but many have not (in part due to a lack of relatively straightforward infrastructure). Having more information available to the public on a timely basis will encourage public discourse and debate, at hearings and otherwise.

We note from the 2007 by-law Warrant Article's Combined Report by the Board of Selectmen, "As stated in the 'Purpose and Applicability' section, the purpose of the proposed by-law is to 'take advantage of the internet', 'better implement the spirit of the OML,' and 'improve opportunities for broader and more meaningful participation in the business of Town governmental bodies'. No one can argue with those admirable goals. All governmental units at all levels should strive to improve openness and transparency." The Advisory Committee, in recommending favorable action by a vote of 17-3 added: "...a reasonable and timely attempt to further the important public goal of greater citizen participation in Brookline's town government."

Official Town Meeting Vote Select Board Advisory Board

Favorable Action

Favorable Action

No Action




Final Result:

Favorable Action

Community Organization Recommendations
PAX Green Caucus
Official Text of the Article

VOTED: To refer the subject matter of Article 16 to the Select Board, and to request that they present a report to the May 2018 Annual Town Meeting.…