Town Meeting Study Committee


  • The commitee made a full report to Town Meeting and its charge has expired


The special committee consists of seven voting members all of whom are appointed by the town moderator.

  • Paul Denver, Chair
  • Elizabeth Handler, Vice-Chair
  • Mark Gluesing, Secretary
  • Susan Abbott
  • Maureen McCaffrey
  • Barbara Popper
  • James Hugh Powers
  • Greg Shesko
  • Sally Toran


In accordance with Article 15 of the May 2007 Annual Town Meeting the town voted to continue the special committee created by vote of the 2005 Annual Town Meeting under Article 64 (PDF) of the Warrant thereof, and of the 2006 Annual Town Meeting under Article 21 thereof, authorized and directed to make a study and investigation of ways and means of:

  • Strengthening the representative Town Meeting as the legislative branch of the Town government
  • Of reducing absenteeism among Town Meeting Members, said special committee to report its findings and recommendation to the next Annual Town Meeting or sooner

Future of Town Meeting

Mr. James Hugh Powers, a long time representative to town meeting, submitted written commentary to the committee so titled A Representative Town Meeting for the 21st Century (PDF). His research provides an overview of the history of the town meeting and how town meeting in Needham has changed over the years. The committee has found his work to be useful in its study to address the charge under Article 64 of the 2005 Annual Town Meeting.


The committee released its report to Town Meeting (PDF) on Feb. 2, 2009. The committee also forwarded to the Board of Selectmen two articles for the May 4, 2009 Annual Town Meeting to be held at the Newman Elementary School.


Last Update August 15, 2009